Research Associate, Indiana School Mental Health Initiative
The Indiana School Mental Health Initiative was created in 2017 in response to increasing concerns and questions about the mental health status of our students, both with and without disabilities, in our public schools. While we know there are many individuals of all ages and systems impacted by mental health challenges, this project focuses on schools since that is where the majority of Indiana youth can be found.
Our vision is for each and every Indiana student to be socially, emotionally, behaviorally, mentally, and physically healthy so they are ready to learn and achieve their full potential.
Our mission is to work alongside school districts and community partners to create a community of practice by providing resources, consultation, professional development, and education that promote and sustain the social, emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health of Indiana’s school-aged children with the goal of increasing school engagement and improving educational and life outcomes.
Our Values and Beliefs
- The function of an education is to address the growth and development of the whole child.
- Education and open discussion about mental health foster understanding and reduce societal stigma.
- Healthy relationships promote healthy growth, including academic growth.
- Meeting the social, emotional, and mental health needs of school staff is just as important as meeting those of our students.
- Our schools and communities are strongest when we all work together.
- Build a community of practice by sharing best practices and harnessing our collective knowledge across Indiana.
- Promote the development of multi-tiered, multi-faceted infrastructures to support school communities in addressing the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs of students and staff.
- Raise awareness of the positive effects of social emotional learning, resiliency building,and mental health support on the experiences of stress, trauma, and adversity.
- Identify barriers that exist to good mental health and work to reduce/eliminate those barriers.
- Assist school districts in building strong community partnerships.
- Identify funding mechanisms and community partners to sustain this work.