Psychological Support Services
District State: California
District Website: http://web.nmusd.us/
All students benefitted when Newport Mesa USD adjusted to a new state law that made districts solely responsible for providing mental health care and related educational services to students with disabilities.
The multitiered Psychological Support Services was launched in 2012 by mental health professionals already employed by the Southern California district. School staff work with parents and other community organizations to prevent bullying, encourage positive behavior (rather than punishing bad behavior) and other initiatives.
The district has also partnered with more than 30 outside agencies, including the University of Southern California School of Social Work, which has posted 12 master’s-level interns in Newport Mesa schools.
This year, the district added an adolescent substance abuse program to provide more proactive drug counseling.
It is also one of 11 districts selected to join the national Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network, an organization focused on expanding service, finding financial solutions and establishing best practices for school-based mental health care. As part of this effort, the district will measure and publicly report outcomes of its mental health treatment.
The number of Newport Mesa students receiving mental health care has increased 650 percent since the program began.