Mental Wellness in DC


The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools is partnering with the Bainum Family Foundation to increase mental health supports available to children and families in Wards 7 and 8 of Washington, DC and to advance the field of school-based mental health. The strategy includes:

  • Identifying a group of three to four public charter elementary and middle schools in Wards 7 and 8 to participate in a Community of Practice. CHHCS and the Foundation will provide three years of training and technical assistance in the areas of data-driven decision making, family and community engagement, and coordinated multi-tiered systems of support (with focus on Tier 1 universal supports). Assistance will also be given for each school to implement and sustain best practices tailored to its unique needs.
  • Convening and leading a District-wide Learning Community of local school-based stakeholders (practitioners, researchers, policy makers and school administrators) to leverage existing expertise and coordinate and share resources.
  • Working with national partners—including the Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (CSMH) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—to connect and convene national experts to advance comprehensive school mental health systems. The goal of these meetings is to discuss local, state and federal strategies to strengthen the availability and quality of school-based mental health services for children, youth and families. The first of a series of meetings took place in DC in September 2017.


The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools is proud to be part of the team behind “Advancing Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems: Guidance From the Field.” The report’s insights are designed to promote positive school climate and safety, strengthen students’ social and emotional learning, and foster mental health and general well-being, while reducing the prevalence and severity of mental illness. Learn more about this collaborative effort and find the full report here.