Multi-Tiered Approach to Mental Health
A public health approach to mental health has been advocated by the World Health Organization1 and provides the guiding framework for Every Moment Counts, emphasizing the promotion of mental health as well as the prevention of and intervention for mental illness.
What does this mean for school personnel?
Mental health is everyone's business!
Because addressing children’s mental health is complex, it is important for all school personnel (e.g., teachers, administrators, para-educators, related service providers, etc.) to proactively address the mental health needs of all students.7
School personnel provide a range of services including:
- Promotion: enhancing abilities; helping children be mentally healthy
- Prevention: reducing risks; minimizing mental health problems
- Intensive, individualized: interventions provided to reduce the effects of a mental illness and restore mental health.
Tiers of intervention are depicted in a pyramid model representing ALL students:
Tier 1: ALL (green area) Universal, whole school strategies for promoting positive mental health in ALL students including those with and without mental health challenges. Focus: promotion & prevention. Approaches: mental health literacy, social and emotional learning (SEL), positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), mindfulness
Tier 2: SOME (blue area) Targeted interventions for students at-risk of developing a mental health challenge. Focus: prevention and promotion using small groups and embedded strategies (e.g. teaching self-regulation strategies for a student experiencing anxiety)
Tier 3: FEW (red area) More intensive, individualized interventions for students experiencing a mental health challenge. School personnel collaborate with mental health providers and families to provide a coordinated system of care. Focus: promotion, prevention and intervention to reduce symptoms