Mental Health Student Services Act (MHSSA)
The Mental Health Student Services Act (MHSSA) provides grants for partnerships between county mental health agencies and local education agencies to deliver school-based mental health services to young people and their families. These partnerships support outreach to identify early signs of unmet mental health needs, reduce stigma and discrimination, and prevent unmet mental health needs from becoming severe and disabling. Nevada County Behavioral Health in partnership with Nevada County Superintendent of Schools has been awarded grant funds from the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) to provide school based mental health services to students and their families.
Nevada County’s program focuses on flagging at-risk students early on and providing appropriate services to prevent mental illness from becoming severe and disabling. A key objective of the partnership is to provide teachers, staff, and students with the requisite behavior modification and development tools that will allow them to support and de-escalate students in crisis and thereby also offer educational access for all students. The program provides trained mental health professionals, Board-Certified Behavior Analysts and Registered Behavior Technicians, at elementary and middle schools.
Under the supervision of the BCBA, the RBTs are primarily responsible for the direct implementation of skill acquisition and implementation of behavior support plans developed by the BCBA and in collaboration with the classroom teacher. Teachers and school staff are trained to identify and support students who exhibit mental health conditions, as well as provide them with the necessary tools to address these challenges. Support is provided to families of students with mental health conditions so that parents and guardians will have resources and training to implement consistent Behavior Plans in the home environment. The RBTs will provide navigation support and linkages to community-based service providers for identified student needs.
Through the creating of a multi-tiered system of support throughout various environmental settings, (e.g. home, school, community) this funding will assist Nevada County School Districts and the Nevada County Behavioral Health Department in understanding and evaluating student's problem behaviors and formulating solutions. The mission of this Partnership is to provide the highest quality interventions for children and support for their families to ensure that children’s mental health needs are addressed. This mission will be accomplished by ensuring that students are connected to behavioral health services, create sustainable behavioral health intervention models in schools, and strengthen the relationship between mental health professionals in schools, the Nevada County Behavioral Health department and other community resources.