Efforts to improve SBH in SC
For the past 8 years, the Mark Weist, USC, and collaborators have been working to join together school mental health and behavioral health initiatives through the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) for SMH and PBIS, including developing a widely disseminating monograph (Barrett,Eber, & Weist, 2013) and the focus of a large scale randomized controlled trial funded by the National Institute of Justice. In 2016, the community received a grant from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) focused on significant involvement of patients (youth and families experiencing EB challenges) and other stakeholders (e.g., clinicians, educators, staff and leaders from child welfare, juvenile justice, disabilities, primary healthcare) in driving research, practice, policy and dissemination efforts to improve SBH and its positive impacts for students, families and schools in SC and the region.
SBH Community and Conferences
The South Carolina SBHC was established to “promote student academic and personal success by reducing barriers to learning and supporting the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all youth and families in South Carolina.” A diverse group of state and local policy makers, educators, mental health staff, higher education professionals, graduate students, administrative staff, and advocates work together to connect schools, families, and mental health. In 2014 the SCBCH hosted the a one-day South Carolina School Behavioral Health Conference in Columbia focused on the need for interconnectedness of SBH in South Carolina. The following year, the conference moved to Charleston, grew into a 2-day event, and offered more breakout sessions to participants. The most recent conference, in 2016, was held in Myrtle Beach and sought a better understanding of partnering with students and families to promote leadership in school behavioral health. Through these efforts, and others outlined above, South Carolina has become a leader in the SBH national and international community. In 2016, the SCSBHC expanded to include 6 additional states (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) and became the Southeastern School Behavioral Health Community.