LA County Department of Mental Health + Office of Education: Creating a healthy, equitable transition back to in-school learning for students and parents during COVID-19
As schools work toward re-opening after remote learning due to COVID-19, students, families, and school personnel will need support through this transition. The UCLA Pritzker Center, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH), through the LA County DMH+UCLA Public Partnership for Wellbeing, will use a multidisciplinary community-partnered approach to provide vital services and support to schools in LA County. This collaboration will assist school staff as they address and respond to the delicate needs of students, parents, and families through their transition to a new normalcy. It will be pertinent to provide an equity-focused approach that will aid school staff in providing integral support to cultivate and promote student wellbeing. Resources and training for Los Angeles County educational workforce will be available through wellbeing4LA.org.
The collaboration between the UCLA Pritzker Center and DMH will primarily concentrate on identifying the complex range of needs within each school community, to promote the well-being of students, families, and school staff. These sensitive and intricate needs will be addressed by developing training content and implementing practices focused on targeting disparities in access to education, innovations and adaptations in the delivery of remote education, and the incorporation of best practices for providing trauma and resilience informed care within school systems and educational environments.
In alignment with the UCLA Pritzker Center’s development of innovative school-based models/programs, the partnership with DMH emphasizes well-being and encourages the development of resilience skills to aid students, teachers, and families during this transition, as opposed to a focus on academics. The UCLA Pritzker-DMH partnership will focus on providing DMH’s Regional Team with 1) professional development training and 2) technical assistance to create a consultation line that will provide school personnel with one-on-one consultation. The DMH Regional Team is a part of the School Based Community Access Platform (SBCAP). It is a team of DMH staff (PSWS, CHWs, MCWs) assigned to different regions to support the school districts in increasing mental health awareness and access to care.