Capacity to Access School Mental Health: A Statewide Case Study

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 9,10
  • Skill Level: Advanced

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. learn strategies to identify statewide capacity and shortages of school mental health providers.
  2. identify professional development needs for targeted capacity building.
  3. develop statewide partnerships with behavioral health experts, community agencies, and school leaders.


The State Department of Education licenses professionals to provide behavioral health services; however, there are vast inequities across districts. This presentation compares the staffing ratios of public school district licensed professionals, based on student economic need, to the ratios recommended by professional organizations. Capacity building and access to state and community resources is examined using social network analysis and interviews with key stakeholders from around the state. Policy and professional development implications are addressed.



Melissa Pearrow, University of Massachusetts Boston
Sara A. Whitcomb, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Talia Berkowitz, University of Massachusetts Boston
Kelsey L. Gordon, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Letter to Supervisor

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