The State of Mental Health in Schools

Mental Health In Schools | Care Plus NJ Schools

Schools were designed to educate, equip, and prepare pupils with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate life. But unfortunately, over the years, inefficient mental health programs have hampered student progress in several ways.

Mental health is an essential yet often overlooked factor in a child’s happy and healthy development — inside and outside school walls.

Despite recent research highlighting the importance of supporting children’s mental well-being within educational settings, many schools struggle to implement reliable strategies for early detection and prevention, raise awareness about mental health issues across their communities, and provide accessible support services for those who need it most urgently.

This post will explore some of these findings from recent studies concerning mental health in schools, including insight into what could be implemented to help bolster positive school experiences for students across America.

School Based Mental Health Services | Care Plus NJ Schools

What Is the Current State of Mental Health in Schools?

Mental health challenges in schools are real, and they are growing. In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported concerning facts — over 4 out of 10 students experienced persistent sadness and hopelessness, while nearly one-third of students experienced poor mental health. Moreover, it was found that 22 percent considered attempting suicide, and 10 percent had already tried taking their lives.

LGBTQ+ students, females and students from multiple racial/ethnic backgrounds are at greater risk of developing mental health disorders including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

This underscores an urgent need for greater access to mental health services and school resources, particularly since these disparities threaten a child’s academic success and quality of life. To overcome this challenge, there must be an ongoing commitment by school administrators and mental health professionals to create a proactive and supportive environment for their students.

Mental Health Needs | Care Plus NJ Schools

What Initiatives Should Be Implemented To Bolster Mental Health in School Districts?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that at least 20 percent of children from 3 to 17 years old experience mental health issues in their school life. Stress, bullying, and academic pressure are some of the most common causes of this.

School-based mental health programs can play a powerful role in promoting positive mental health and resolving issues that hinder academic success. Each student’s mental health needs should be addressed with personalized, specialized care.

This can be done through the following:

Researching Student Population and Identifying the Most Common Mental Health Issues

Schools need to invest in research to understand their student population’s mental health. By investing in more research, they can effectively identify their demographics’ most common mental health issues and create a comprehensive assessment

This assessment will allow school administrators to pinpoint the area of focus and recognize what targeted strategies they could implement to help mitigate any current issues or deficiencies. 

This insight is valuable for ensuring the best solutions for interpreting, understanding, and supporting those within the student population with mental health issues or concerns.

Integrating Mental Health Education Into the Curriculum

Addressing mental health requires more than just providing access to resources. Mental health education needs to be integrated into the curriculum to ensure a safe, positive learning environment for students.

This could involve embedding healthy mental health practices into existing class topics or creating standalone classes focusing on emotional and psychological well-being. These lessons can cover mental health disorders, stress management, problem-solving strategies, and coping mechanisms for difficult times.

It’s also important to include discussions on stigma and the importance of seeking help when needed so students feel comfortable speaking up about any issues they may face.

Developing Mental Health Services That Include School Staff, Mental Health Professionals, and Community Resources

School districts committed to supporting their student’s mental health should invest in developing a system of mental health services.

This could include resources for students and families and training and support for school staff, especially school psychologists, social workers, counselors, and teachers.

It is also critical to involve the surrounding community in school-based mental health initiatives by connecting with local organizations and support groups specializing in mental health services.

By having a comprehensive system of mental health resources available to staff, schools can better ensure they receive the best mental health care possible.

Make Cultural and Linguistic Competency a Priority

School districts should prioritize fostering cultural and linguistic competency in their staff. This entails educating them about the various cultures represented among their students and ensuring they can communicate with diverse school groups effectively.

Staff should also understand common mental health perspectives, regardless of the population they serve. Moreover, competencies must go beyond acquiring surface-level information; the school district must ensure its staff members comprehend the conditioning and roots behind unspoken values and cultural practices.

Members should also know language nuances to communicate fluently and respectfully with staff, students, and families.

Consider Hiring a Mental Health Company That Specializes in School-Based Mental Health like Care Plus NJ

The National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the United States Department of Education, surveyed 830 public schools in America and found that 7 out of 10 were experiencing an increasing number of young students seeking mental health services.

Of additional concern, 76 percent reported that faculty and staff members had voiced worries about depression, anxiety, and trauma in their student body since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

With the high pressure of demands already weighing on school-based mental health service providers, contracting a mental health company specializing in emotional support for students may be a good solution.

CarePlus NJ’s School-Based Services has the resources and expertise to provide students with appropriate emotional care and guidance while refraining from overworking existing school staff. Moreover, mental health company providers possess professionally tailored approaches that deliver targeted aid more adequately in meeting the individual needs of each student.

Schools can access comprehensive mental and behavioral health services from these companies to strengthen their support systems and better meet the needs of students, including evaluations and referrals, training for staff and faculty on relevant issues, and crisis intervention protocols tailored to each institution’s unique environment.

With such assistance, in addition to existing resources, schools can guarantee improved care for all learners.

Careplus NJ Will Provide Mental Health Services | Care Plus NJ Schools

School-Based Services Is Working To Promote Student Mental Health

Mental illness and emotional well-being are equally important and should be taken seriously by schools. As a non-profit organization, CarePlus NJ School-Based Services strive to help create healthier school environments for students by collaborating with the district staff, families, and the community.

Our organization works with schools to assess their mental health services and tailor comprehensive mental health programs that better address student needs. We provide guidance and education to educators and families, as well as resources and support for students struggling with behavior problems and emotional or psychological issues.


Schools have a fundamental role in providing students with practical and reliable resources to help them navigate their daily lives with the proper tools. Overall, the issue of mental health in school settings is complex and multifaceted. Though much progress has been made to create awareness about mental health, there is still a need for other early detection strategies and access to comprehensive student support services.

Parents and caregivers should work with schools and community organizations to promote healthy conversations around mental health, remove the stigma associated with it, and advocate for children everywhere who struggle silently as they try to access life-saving interventions.

Please reach out to us today and find out how our non-profit is devoted to increasing mental health awareness in your school. We are dedicated to creating secure, inspiring spaces for all students with tailored programming that addresses their needs.


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