The Governor's Behavioral Health Services Planning Council (GBHSPC), Children's Subcommittee serves to identify and make recommendations on issues that are pertinent to the behavioral and mental health needs of children across Kansas. Recommendations of the subcommittee have focused on identifying (a) ways in which mental health knowledge and resources can be shared with schools; (b) how to help schools integrate trauma-informed practices; and (c) how to improve collaboration between schools and community partners so that they may more effectively support children and school communities.
These recommendations are in alignment with those of the Governor’s Mental Health Task Force, which address (a) accountability for outcomes and effective services and (b) access to effective services and supports that consider evidence-based and emerging best practices; primary and behavioral healthcare; effective crisis response, prevention, and early intervention; and enhanced community involvement and engagement
The recommendations of the GBHSPC, Children’s Subcommittee were shared with educational leaders at the KSDE and TASN in the spring of 2015. At that time, the importance of providing school communities with information and resources that would help address the complex behavioral and mental health needs frequently encountered in schools was acknowledged. KSDE and TASN leadership responded by allowing for the development of a SMHI within the TASN ATBS project.
Kansas education leaders have long understood the importance of addressing the needs of the “whole child,” as evidenced by the adoption of the Social, Emotional and Character Development (SECD) standards in 2012, making Kansas the first state in the country to adopt such standards.
The SECD standards were developed to provide schools with a framework for integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) with character development so that students will learn, practice, and model essential personal life habits that contribute to academic, vocational, and personal success. SEL includes learning to how to be caring and civil, to make healthy decisions, to problem solve effectively, to value excellence, to be respectful and responsible, to be good citizens, and to be empathetic and ethical individuals.
Kansas school communities will have the capacity to sustain the knowledge, tools, practices, environments and supports necessary to promote the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health development of all children in order to enable them to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
Assist school communities in developing the capacity to prepare all students for academic, college, and career achievement by enhancing social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health literacy, practices and supports in Early Childhood through K-12 settings.
- Children are deserving of socially and emotionally literate environments that explicitly and implicitly promote their development as whole human beings.
- Children are deserving of the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health supports they may need to lead a healthy life.
- Families are deserving of the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health supports they may need function effectively.
- Schools and education professionals are deserving of the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health supports they may need to support the students they serve.
- Communities are deserving of the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health supports they may need to thrive.
- Schools, families, and communities want the best for their children and are stronger when they work together.
- Provide Kansas school communities with resources, consultation, and training on the relevance of mental health as it pertains to student learning and the impact on school staff.
- Utilize already existing educational frameworks and practices (such as MTSS, PBIS, and RtI) to effectively build collaborative school and community partnerships.