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Utah School Mental Health (SMH) Collaborative

How do you address the unique mental health needs and well-being of students? Through a state-wide collaboration like the Utah School Mental Health (SMH) Collaborative. The SMH Collaborative helps schools assess the mental health of individual students and then connects students with resources that match their level of need. The program is scalable and adaptable, meeting students and schools where they are.  
Co-led by College of Education faculty member Dr. Aaron Fischer, the SMH Collaborative trains school staff in screening students for mental health, developing effective mental health and well-being systems that draw from the school’s existing resources, and creating tools to build life skills and resiliency. The team also provides technical support. School personnel usually work in teams commonly referred to as Well-Being Teams (WBT) that consist of teachers, school mental health professionals, related service providers, school nurses, social workers, and school administrators. The SMH Collaborative is able to work with external care providers, when necessary, to ensure kids get the level of support they need. The structure of the SMH Collaborative means that the models and tools offered are not one-size-fits-all. What rural schools need will differ from what urban schools need, and school resources vary significantly across the state. With this scalable and adaptable approach, schools can protect and improve their students mental health and well-being with their existing pool of resources.

The SMH Collaborative is seeing better academic outcomes, stronger social connections among students, and increased well-being.

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aaron fischer


Dr. Aaron Fischer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology

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Last Updated: 12/12/23