The timeline below details the evolution of grant-funded MTSS-B efforts by the NHDOE since receipt of their first round of federal funding to support the work in 2013.
The NH Department of Education (NHDOE) began development of its Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavioral Health and Wellness (MTSS-B) framework in 2013 with the receipt of a four-year federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SSHS) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which sparked the development of MTSS-B as a tiered behavioral health prevention framework with an integrated school-community mental health focus. Three school districts received funding for MTSS-B implementation as part of SSHS.
In 2014, the award of a Project AWARE SAMHSA grant allowed the NHDOE to expand MTSS-B to three additional North Country school districts.
As the NHDOE expanded its interest and focus in supporting a holistic view of student wellness through MTSS-B, the Office of Social and Emotional Wellness (OSEW) was formed, now nested within the Bureau of Student Wellness and Nutrition. OSEW’s purpose is to promote optimal social, emotional, and educational outcomes for children across the state, which imbedded social-emotional wellness within the larger NHDOE mission.
OSEW landed a 2016 SAMHSA System of Care grant (NHSOC) that allowed for an experiment in expanding the school-based MTSS-B system of care environment through implementation of a team-based form of care coordination – wraparound – for those students (and their families) with the most serious and complex behavioral health needs.
In 2019, a state-level School Climate Transformation Grant from the US Department of Education enabled the hiring of new OSEW MTSS-B Consultants to support NH school districts with MTSS-B coaching and technical assistance.
A second round of SAMHSA’s Project AWARE (AWARE 2.0) brought three new school districts on board to receive funding and OSEW coaching support for MTSS-B implementation.
Yet another SAMHSA System of Care grant in 2020 (NHSOC 2.0) focuses on the intentional integration of four NH Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) into more robust MTSS-B implementation in seven NH school districts. This project pilots the position of School Liaison, a CMHC-employed clinician that serves as the point of contact between school districts and community mental health agencies and supports integrated school-community behavioral/mental health practice implementation.
Recently OSEW received additional state-level funds from the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS), which supports MTSS-B implementation as a form of risk behavior prevention in NH schools. This “Promising Futures” cohort consists of 20 NH school districts. To date, OSEW has supported MTSS-B implementation in approximately 35 school districts across New Hampshire.
OSEW’s expanded MTSS-B capacity and growing partnership with DHHS and technical assistance partners at the Behavioral Health Improvement Institute at Keene State College has led to the development of the NH MTSS-B Technical Assistance Center and a state-level advisory committee that seeks to inform and drive MTSS-B forward as part of the children’s system of care throughout the state.
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