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Mental Health Promotion in Schools: What Should Pennsylvania Do?

Elliott, Kimberley Susanne (2022) Mental Health Promotion in Schools: What Should Pennsylvania Do? Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Mental health is an essential component of overall health. When mental health becomes very poor, mental illness occurs. Mental illness causes a burden to the individual and to society. The four most common mental illnesses in children are attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, behavioral disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression. Mental health issues in children have been on the rise, especially in minority groups, and states are beginning to mandate programs and services for their schools.
New York, Virginia, Florida, and New Jersey have mandated mental health education be included in health curricula. Oregon is one state that has begun allowing excused absences for mental health reasons. Texas funds a telemental health program. Kansas and Minnesota provide grants that bring providers into the schools. Michigan has amended its Medicaid plan to allow all Medicaid eligible students, not just ones with an IEP, to bill Medicaid.
Pennsylvania has not taken these steps yet; however, there is evidence suggesting that these initiatives are effective. It can look to the successful process New York state went through to achieve policy change, which Pennsylvania could use as a model when pursuing similar actions. Also, there are programs Pennsylvania could adapt for a mandatory mental health education program. The FRIENDS program is one of these that shows potential in preventing mental illness as well as promoting good mental health.
Pennsylvania can be doing more to improve the mental health of its students.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Elliott, Kimberley Susannekse9@pitt.edukse9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.edumaterry
Committee MemberDocumet, Particiapdocumet@pitt.edupdocumet
Committee MemberDonohue, Juliejdonohue@pitt.edujdonohue
Date: 16 May 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 April 2022
Approval Date: 16 May 2022
Submission Date: 29 April 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 41
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health, schools, policy
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 19:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 19:57


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