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Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup

The 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.

Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) External link opens in new window or tab.

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 California Department of Education 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 Meetings are held quarterly, in a virtual platform, and are open to the public.

2022 Meeting Dates

February 25, 2022, 9-10:30 a.m.
May 19, 2022, 2-5 p.m.

2023 Meeting Dates

March 24, 2023, 2-5 p.m.
May 25, 2023, 2-5 p.m.
August 17, 2023, 2-5 p.m.
November 16, 2023, 2-5 p.m.

2024 Meeting Dates

July 24, 2024, 3-5 p.m.
October 23, 2024, 3-5 p.m.

2025 Meeting Dates

January 23, 2025, 3-5 p.m.

Workgroup Policy Recommendations

  • SMHPW Policy Recommendation #6
    Support Expanding the Capacity of DataQuest to Provide Users with More
    Information about the Reasons for Student Absenteeism
Questions:   Office of School-Based Health Programs |
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 30, 2024
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