Implementing and Maintaining School-Based Mental Health Services in a Large, Urban School District

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: The Dallas (Texas) Public Schools established the first school-based health center in the United States in 1969. In 1993 a partnership between two school principals, a school mental health professional, and the medical director of the county mental health center was the impetus for the first comprehensive school-based mental health center in Texas. In 1995 the programs joined together as Youth and Family Centers (YFCs) to provide physical health, mental health, and other support services to students and their families. The 10 strategically located school-based centers are directed by licensed mental health professionals employed by the district who lead a multidisciplinary team of physical health and mental health providers. Students served by the YFCs have fewer discipline problems, course failures, and school absences.

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