The New Jersey Enhancing School Mental Health Services Project: Statewide Trainings builds on the NJDOE’s efforts to support the implementation of the New Jersey Comprehensive School Mental Health Resource Guide. Statewide training will be provided to educators, administrators, and school mental health professionals to help increase knowledge of evidence-based practices related to school mental health. The trainings will take place at various locations throughout the state, with a limited number of virtual sessions available for some training dates.
Training topics for January 2023-December 2023 include:
- Understanding Your Schools Mental Health Needs: Needs Assessment, Universal Screening, and Resource Mapping
- Establishing Community Partnerships and Engaging Families in School-Based Mental Health
- Functional Contextual Thinking and Its Application for School Mental Health
Statewide Trainings are designed to support all learners and provide opportunities for interaction and collaboration with New Jersey educators across the state. The goal of our team is to support you with the implementation of your CSMH, no matter what stage you are at in the process. We strive to provide interactive, engaging and tailored professional development designed to meet your needs.
To select the training best for you, we’ve labeled each training by level. The training levels are listed below.
Level 1 trainings are for those new to Comprehensive School Mental Health (CSMH) and are looking for an introduction.
Level 2 trainings are for those who have some experience and need further guidance in implementation.
Level 3 trainings are for those who have completed their implementation and are looking for advanced strategies to refine their practice.
Please view the training schedule below for dates, training description, and registration.
NOTE: If you are one of the selected 50 schools participating in the Enhancing School Mental Health Services project, you DO NOT need to register for statewide trainings.
Training Schedule – 2023
Click on the “+” icon to far right of each training title to view dates/times and a summary.
Date: Friday, September 29, 2023
Location: Middlesex County Fire Academy
1001 Fire Academy Dr. Sayreville, NJ 08872
Time: 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Presenters: Kristy Ritvalsky, MPH & Alicia Lukachko, DrPH, LCSW
This training will provide an overview of core features of comprehensive school mental health, with a deeper dive into systematic needs assessment to help schools better recognize and respond to the diverse mental health needs of their students and staff. Participants will learn specific steps in the needs assessment process, techniques in teaming and collaboration, strategies for utilizing and building upon existing school data, best practices for identifying and implementing universal screeners, and methods for assessing existing school resources and gaps in services. This session is intended for school administrators, school mental health professionals and supporting school mental health staff, will include both practical guidance and opportunities for interactive application.
- Describe the core features of a Comprehensive School Mental Health (CSMH) system.
- Identify and discuss the fundamental elements of needs assessment within a CSMH system, including universal screening and resource mapping.
- Discuss concrete strategies and skills that can be directly applied at the school or district level.
- Participate in discussions and activities aimed at generating reflection and reinforcing knowledge.
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Time: 9:30 am- 12:30 pm
Presenters: Tania Leonard, MS and Alicia Lukachko, DrPH, LCSW
The goal of engaging families and community partners in school-based mental health training is to create healthy environments for learning by partnering with whole school communities in developing prevention and intervention strategies that promote academic and life success for all of the students.
Participants will be able to understand the importance of family and community partner engagement, initiate the resource mapping process within the school community, engage or strengthen relationships with new and existing community partners, and approach all programming partnerships with a culturally sensitive trauma-informed lens.
- Explain the core features of a Comprehensive School Mental Health (CSMH) framework
- Describe the importance of CSMH teams
- Discuss the implementation steps to creating effective School-Community partnerships to support School Mental Health
Date: Thursday, October 12, 2023
Location: Camden County Community College- Blackwood Campus
(Madison Hall Room 113)
Time: 9:00 am- 12:30pm
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Time: 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Presenters: Nurturing Environments Institute (NEI)
This training will provide an overview of Functional Contextual Thinking (FCT) for school mental health professionals, teachers, and other school staff. It will include addressing school-related internalizing (e.g., anxiety, trauma) and externalizing (e.g., disruptions, aggression) problems by selecting effective strategies and supports for students. FCT is a user-friendly, brief, and informal method designed to quickly help school professionals hypothesize the function of the student’s behavior as part of their regular practice. School professionals will be able to respond to challenging behaviors based on the scientific understanding of behavior rather than pre-existing assumptions that will lead to better outcomes for students.
- Assess and analyze the context in which a child is facing mental health challenges
- Determine what the function or the “why” behind what behaviors the student is engaging in
- Utilize both the context and function to determine how to create a nurturing and supportive plan for the student across classroom and therapeutic settings
What Our Attendees Are Saying
“The workshop was fantastic! I shared the resources with leaders in my district and look forward to more topics in the family and community partnerships area; especially when behaviors are present before a diagnosis.” — School Counselor from Marlboro Township Public Schools (Monmouth County)
“The case studies, interactive activities, and vignettes all provided a better understanding of the MTSS model and universal assessments.” — Attendee of Understanding Your School’s Mental Health Needs 2023
“I liked that this training included a blended approach, where the presenters spoke and allowed for time to discuss with small groups and personal reflection. This allowed for us to take a moment to process the information personally and with others.” — Attendee of Establishing Community & Family Supports 2023
Sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), Division of Educational Services, in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions Center for Comprehensive School Mental Health at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; 100% funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund.