For local boards of education, student achievement is the bottom line. But today one of the biggest barriers to student achievement and school safety continues to be the unmet behavioral health needs of our students. The good news is that school districts in Missouri are now able to get federal and state reimbursement for behavioral health services provided to any Medicaid eligible students and community providers can be invited into schools to service children and do the same.
This is truly a game-changer for our state. It is critical that schools, parents and community providers understand how this process can work and develop ways to collaborate differently than we’ve done in the past. Now we can give children a brighter future through behavioral health services that can be provided within the context of schools.
We thank members of MSBA’s Behavioral Health Workgroup for their work on this issue. We hope the guidelines in this document can help you deliver the behavioral health services so many of our students desperately need.
Melissa K. Randol, Esq., Executive Director
Missouri School Boards’ Association
It is paramount for Missouri schools to have the ability to partner with quality providers or, on their own, to deliver behavioral health services during school time. Ensuring Missouri’s children and youth immediate access to supports and early interventions has long-term impact on learning and community well-being. The Department of Social Services, MO HealthNet Division is excited to support Missouri schools and families in this effort to improve behavioral health.
Jennifer Tidball, Deputy Director
Department of Social Services
Behavioral health supports are critical to student success in school and life. These supports will assist in establishing and expanding strong partnerships between schools and their communities. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is pleased to advocate on behalf of these efforts that benefit Missouri students and their families
Roger Dorson, Ed.D. Deputy Commissioner
Financial and Administrative Services
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The work of MSBA’s Behavioral Health Workgroup was critical because it highlighted the importance of establishing new services that address mental health problems in communities, evolving the school culture to be more supportive of the emotional wellbeing of adults and students, and providing greater access to behavioral health services.
Mike Nietzel, Ph.D., Past, Deputy Director
Department of Mental Health