Universal Mental Health Screening in Schools

  • The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) provides free (grant-funded under the GaDOE’s Project AWARE) training and technical assistance to schools and school districts interested in building the infrastructure for universal mental health screening.
  • The CLD has designed a step-by-step process to guide schools through the universal mental health screening readiness process.
  • The CLD will also provide guidance on which universal screener districts should use to align with their district’s needs.

Steps to Complete Universal Screening for Mental Health

Step 1 (Winter) – Determine criteria for schools to participate in universal screening for mental health. Select schools to participate.
Step 2 (Spring) – Complete resource map with each school.
Step 3 (Spring) – Complete a gap analysis with each school.
Step 4 (Spring) – Confirm that each school has adequate social/emotional/behavioral supports.
Step 5 (Spring) – Select a screening tool.
Step 6 (Spring) – Consult with district legal consultant about whether to use active or passive parent consent
Step 7 (Spring) – Draft parent consent form. Share with schools. Collect consent forms at the beginning of the academic year
Step 8 (Summer) – Complete universal screening action plan with each school.
Step 9 (Start of the School Year) – Introduce school’s social/emotional learning (SEL) initiative to parents. Note that screening is part of the SEL initiative.
Step 10 (At least 30 days before first screening date)– Train teachers on how to collect universal screening data. The process for data collection will vary based on respondent (e.g., student, parent, teacher).
Step 11 (First Screen – Six weeks into the School Year) – Conduct the screening.
Step 12 (Immediately after Screening) – Score screening forms.
Step 13 (Within Two Weeks of Scoring) – Review school-, grade-, gender-, race-, and classroom-level data and make decisions about how to improve tier 1 supports.
Step 14 (Within Two Weeks of Scoring) – Review student-level data and make decisions about how to provide tier 2 or 3 supports.
Step 15 (Spring) – Complete second/third screenings. If two screenings will be conducted, complete the second screening 30 days after the start of the second semester. If three screenings will be conducted, complete the second screening before the winter break, and the third screening before spring break.

Contact Emily Graybill, PhD, NCSP for more information about universal screening | 404-413-1424 | egraybill1@gsu.edu