Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Barragan, Armando


Mental health can impact a child’s success in many aspects, including in the school setting. School settings are very often the only place that provide an opportunity for families to be able to receive mental health services for their children. It is imperative that schools meet the mental health needs of the children who attend their schools. This research project examines data and information gathered from educators and school administrators to help us understand their experiences, successes, and/or displeasure about the services that are offered or not offered within the agency they work for. The literature review discusses the definition of school based mental health services, statistics pertaining to access and the need for school based mental health, barriers to accessing mental health services in the school setting, and stigma relating to accessing mental health services. A constructivist approach was utilized in the creation of this project. This study was conducted using face to face interviews with 11 participants to develop a qualitative analysis. Four major themes emerged from this study: 1) Respondent overall understanding of mental health; 2) Early signs of mental health; 3) Training opportunities provided within the study site; and 4) Barriers to mental health access. An action plan was developed that includes the following: Identifying services that are already put in place and services the site may still be lacking to appropriately serve the needs of population being served and bringing awareness through discussion and communication.