School administrators and counselors are on the front lines of mental health support, seeking to address the challenges faced by students including anxiety, depression and suicide, the mental health impacts of Covid-19, racial and economic disparities, addiction and fear of school violence. Educators and counselors are actively seeking to address these needs, but often lack funding and evidence-based resources to do truly make an impact.
Denver Seminary is helping to address the mental health crises schools are facing through the School Counseling and Mental Health Initiative (SCMHI), and we welcome your support, as we work with strategic partners to make real, positive, lasting change. As the only seminary in the nation offering a fully accredited MA in Counseling with a concentration in school counseling, Denver Seminary is uniquely poised to lead this charge.
Update on Our Work
We are grateful to report that despite the limitations of in-person interactions, the SCMHI is moving forward with its strategic partnerships and continue to lay the groundwork for positive and lasting change within our communities. Let us share with you some highlights. We have:
- Partnered with multiple public, private, and charter schools to research student mental health.
- Received letters of support from the Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Department of Higher Education.
- Received access to a restricted federal database on suicide to utilize in our research.
- Completed the first phase of qualitative research with two separate school partners exploring student mental health.
- In coordination with our partners, utilized these results to assess the effectiveness of current school-based programs in the schools to address identified mental health needs.
- Begun phase two research, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, to explore the themes and needs from initial results.
- Met with additional potential school partners to expand the impact and scope of our research.
- Applied to present the findings and approach of our model at both national and regional conferences.
What Is Next?
SCMHI is seeking to:
- Take the current model of community-based research and expand it to both rural and urban areas, to better understand the mental health needs of underserved and under-resourced communities.
- We will continue to expand the number and diversity of our school partners to gain the greatest understanding of how we can support our students and train future school counselors to meet the needs of their communities.
- As restrictions surrounding Covid-19 ease, SCMHI will hold conferences for educators to explore and discuss the results of our research in addition to national and local presentations of our research.
Mental health concerns continue to rise among America’s school-age population. As believers, it is imperative that we provide hope to those who are hurting. Denver Seminary is bravely entering this gap to strategically partner with schools, mental health providers, and the community to engage students and to provide education, research, and evidence-based interventions to reduce the impact of mental health issues on students, families, school staff, and our communities.
Learn more about SCMHI by contacting Dr. Adam Wilson, SCMHI director and director of the School Counseling Mental Health Program. If you would like to make a donation to SCMHI, click here.