Student Mental Health Policy WorkgroupThe Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup will assess the current mental health needs of California students and gather evidence to support its policy recommendations to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the California Legislature.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson convened the Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup (SMHPW) in 2012 to assess the mental health needs of California students and gather evidence to support policy recommendations to the SSPI and the California Legislature.
The all-volunteer, unpaid work group is composed of teachers, school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, and school administrators, and state and county mental health professionals. This diverse group has used its combined expertise to develop policy recommendations related to mental health training for educators, youth suicide, student safety, and other mental health-related issues.
The work group was originally convened with funding assistance from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). The CalMHSA provided Mental Health Services Act funding through 2016 to help the SMHPW begin its work.
In addition to its work in providing policy recommendations, the SMHPW now serves as the State Management Team for Project Cal-Well, a five-year federal grant program which serves to foster collaboration between the CDE and local educational agencies to address critical mental health needs of California's kindergarten through twelfth-grade students. Project Cal-Well is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The SMHPW meets quarterly in Sacramento. All meetings are open to the public.
Planned 2020 Meeting Dates
- February 21, 2020
- May 22, 2020
- August 27, 2020
- November 20, 2020
2019 Meeting Agendas
2018 Meeting Agendas & Minutes
2017 Meeting Agendas & Minutes
2016 Meeting Agendas & Minutes
- 2015 Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- 2014 Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- 2013 Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- 2012 Meeting Agendas and Minutes
Suicide Prevention Committee
- January 13, 2019 Meeting Agenda
- November 20, 2019 Meeting Agenda
- August 12, 2019 Meeting Agenda
- July 8, 2019 Meeting Agenda
- April 8, 2019 Meeting Agenda
- October 24, 2018 Meeting Agenda
- July 11, 2018 Meeting Agenda
Workgroup Policy Recommendations
- SMHPW Policy Recommendations #1
Credentialing Preparation to Meet Students’ Mental Health Needs
- SMHPW Policy Recommendation #2
Comprehensive Partnerships and Collaborative Teams
to Support Student Mental Health in School Safety Planning
- SMHPW Policy Recommendation #3
Comprehensive School Board Policies and Administrative Regulations
for Youth Suicide Prevention
- SMHPW Policy Recommendation #4
Student Mental Health Training for School Staff and Community Members
- SMHPW Policy Recommendation #5
Support Assembly Bill 2246 (O’Donnell) for School Board Policies
for Youth Suicide Prevention
- SMHPW Policy Recommendation #6
Support Expanding the Capacity of DataQuest to Provide Users with More
Information about the Reasons for Student Absenteeism
School-Based Family Counseling Recorded Webinar
Professors Carter, Soriano, and Gerrard, experts on School-Based Family Counseling, presented this Webinar on October 11, 2012 to members of the SMHPW to demonstrate with case examples how this approach to student mental health services has been implemented in several schools and school districts in northern and southern California.
Health Professions Education Foundation
The Health Professions Education Foundation (HPEF) improves access to healthcare in underserved areas of California by providing scholarships, loan repayments, and programs to health professional students and graduates who are dedicated to providing direct patient care in those areas. The HPEF administers 13 scholarship and loan repayment programs for students and health professionals and places them throughout the continuum of California's healthcare delivery system.