This research was supported in part by the University of South Florida (USF) College of Education Mini-Grant Research Program.
Personal and systems-level factors that limit and facilitate school psychologists' involvement in school-based mental health services†
Version of Record online: 4 FEB 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
Psychology in the Schools
Volume 47, Issue 4, pages 354–373, April 2010
How to Cite
Suldo, S. M., Friedrich, A. and Michalowski, J. (2010), Personal and systems-level factors that limit and facilitate school psychologists' involvement in school-based mental health services. Psychol. Schs., 47: 354–373. doi: 10.1002/pits.20475
We acknowledge the assistance of the following members of our university research team: Devon Minch, Emily Shaffer, Jason Hangauer, and Stephanie Mihalas.
- Issue online: 3 MAR 2010
- Version of Record online: 4 FEB 2010
The common path through which youth with mental health problems actually receive treatment is the education system. The current study used qualitative methodology to explore why school psychologists are not providing the level of mental health services that children need, leaders in the field call for, and practitioners desire. Thirty-nine school psychologists participated in 11 focus groups; they responded to structured questions regarding the range of mental health services they currently provide, as well as the personal and systemic factors that facilitate and limit their provision of these mental health services. Analysis of themes that emerged across focus groups indicated that school psychologists provide a broad variety of mental health services with an emphasis on group and individual counseling as well as crisis intervention. The factors most often mentioned as prohibiting the delivery of such services included problems inherent to using schools as the site for service delivery, insufficient training, and a lack of support from department/district administration and school personnel. The enabling conditions that emerged most involved perceptions of ample support from administration and school personnel, sufficient integration into the school site, and particular personal characteristics, such as the desire to provide counseling and the ability to maintain personal boundaries. Implications for practitioners, administrators, and trainers are discussed. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.