We screen our students multiple times a year for academic performance.
It's about time we did the same for depression, anxiety, and adverse childhood experiences.
- Obtain active consent
- Utilize evidence-based screeners
- Provide risk assessments as needed for suicidal ideation
- Collaborate with families to establish goals
- Provide school-based cognitive behavioral therapy / trauma informed practices
- Re-screen throughout the year, as necessary, and continue services
- Train students, faculty, and families as QPR Suicide Gatekeepers
- Destigmatize mental health struggles through open conversations
- Develop a restorative school community built on care and compassion
Fiedeldey Consulting LLC provides two packages for mental health screenings.
COMPREHENSIVE DEPLOYMENT PLAN
Fiedeldey Consulting LLC provides:
- Proposal for Board of Education approval
- Initial presentation to the Board of Education
- Parent information session (pre-administration)
- Coordination to obtain active consent from families
- Staff information session (pre-administration)
- Student information session (pre-administration)
- Administration of the universal screener by a team of professionals
- Monitoring of student responses in real-time
- Same day screening for suicidal ideations
- Debrief with students
- Communication of results to families
- Transitioning students in need of school-based counseling to district staff for ongoing support
- Providing district staff with forms for initial goal planning meeting, and subsequent progress monitoring
- A summative presentation of results to the Board of Education
- Re-evaluation of at-risk students
CONSULTATIVE SUPPORT PLAN
Fiedeldey Consulting LLC provides staff training.
District employees are then responsible for the administration of the universal screener for depression.
1. The Screening Tool: Details and Effectiveness?
The screening consists of 22 yes/no questions that takes approximately 5 minutes to complete online. It is recommended to administer the screening to an entire class at a time to increase efficiency. Results are then reported in four tiered categories, depending on the severity of the responses
2. Staffing: Who completes the screenings?
Fiedeldey Consulting LLC is staffed by trained, qualified individuals with professional certificates in the areas of behavior and/or mental health. We also can train your school-based mental health providers (school psychologists, school social workers, school counselors) to complete the screening.
3. Parental Issues: Parents may not want their child screened. How will we share the results?
Parental active consent is obtained prior to any screening. Parents will have previously been invited to attend an information session. Results will be sent home via mail and/or email, explaining the results, along with suggestions for other mental health resources.
4. Liability: What is the school’s liability to asking these questions and parents not following up with suggestions?
What would our responsibility be if we failed to ask these critical questions and a student engaged in a suicide completion, attempt, or self-harm? Fiedeldey Consulting LLC collaborates with each district to determine the appropriate cut-off scores and frequency / duration of school-based services. All notices sent home clarify that the district provides school-based support; neither medical nor clinical services are provided. The district is not responsible for those types of services. Fiedeldey Consulting LLC proactively works with local stakeholders to create a system of care prior to the administration of the screening so that support is in place.
5. Student Cooperation: What if students are not honest in their reporting resulting in over/under-diagnosis?
Research demonstrates that individuals are more honest reporting sensitive behavior on a computer (Gnambs & Kaspar, 2015). Every form of self-reporting relies on the honesty of an individual. If a student is not honest about how they are feeling, we are in no worse position to help them than before. But what about the importance to the student who does answer honestly? We have the potential to save lives and the rewards clearly outweigh the risks. We have an obligation to ask these critical questions, and to initiate conversations in our schools and with our families surrounding mental health. The screening instrument provides the expected percentage of students that will fall into each of the four qualitative categories so districts can anticipate the potential number of students needing support.
Gnambs, T. & Kaspar, K. Behav Res (2015) 47: 1237. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-014-0533-4
6. Student privacy: How will the data be collected, stored and who will have access to the results?
The results of the screening will be considered and handled as student records and in compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Results will only be accessed by school-based mental health providers and administration. Students are notified prior to completing the screening that results will be shared with their parents and school-based mental health professionals. It is recommended that parents, students, and the school-based mental health provider meet at an initial goal-setting meeting to devise appropriate school-based counseling goal(s).
7. Funding: Capacity concerns at the school level.
There is no denying that districts and taxpayers already bear the cost of mental health. The question is, would you rather make a small investment safeguarding the welfare of our students by screening for depression or reactively spend more on later intensive services? Failing to screen could result in a more restrictive and expensive out-of-district placements, worsening conditions, or a missed opportunity to critically intervene. See the financial cost breakdown below*
$80 per year - Behavior prevention system
$1,200 per year - Cognitive behavioral therapy
$7,500 per year - Intensive home-based family therapy
$15,000 for 7 days - Hospitalization
$100,000+ per year - Out-of-district placement at therapeutic setting