Policy Blog

Welcome to the center’s policy blog, a discussion space where we reach across the digital divide to share knowledge and learn more about how rural schools are successfully managing the behavioral and mental health needs of their students. By listening to and learning from rural educators like you, we bring solutions to state leaders and policymakers while developing new resources so schools can help children maximize their learning and lead healthier lives.

Each month, we reach out to innovative problem solvers who have developed resourceful solutions to the behavioral and mental health problems that impact student learning, student success, and family well-being. These educators discuss concerns that impact rural schools and offer creative ideas on how to address students’ mental health needs.

The blog is part of a grant designed to research and implement effective mental health interventions in rural schools located in Missouri, Montana, and Virginia. Through our efforts, we will generate data that can be used to link the rural education community to solutions and political leaders who can make them a reality.

Prevention Science Using Social Emotional Screeners to Improve Student Outcomes

Ask any teacher and they will tell you their students’ ability to self-regulate, resolve conflict, and manage emotions is markedly different from students 10 to 15 years ago. There are many reasons why kids are different—access to Internet and electronic devices, working parents, and trauma, to name a few. The bottom line is students are […]

About the Authors

Jeff Folsom

I have spent my 40-year career working at the intersection of mental health and state policy. In my current position as the Director of Policy and Special Projects at the Center for Children, Family and Workforce Development (CCFWD), I work with state and national government agencies and lawmakers to develop systems that support effective mental health and health services for youth.

Jeff Folsom
Licensed Social Worker and Attorney

I have spent my 40-year career working at the intersection of mental health and state policy. In my current position as the Director of Policy and Special Projects at the Center for Children, Family and Workforce Development (CCFWD), I work with state and national government agencies and lawmakers to develop systems that support effective mental health and health services for youth.

Carol Ewen

I have worked at the local and state level developing and implementing school mental health interventions for the past 23 years. I am currently the Director of School Mental Health Programs at the University of Montana’s Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development.

Carol Ewen
Licensed School Psychologist

I have worked at the local and state level developing and implementing school mental health interventions for the past 23 years. I am currently the Director of School Mental Health Programs at the University of Montana’s Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development.

    The current Early Identification System model includes:

    Online
    teacher and student-report assessment tools
    A dashboard system in which
    these data are shared with schools and linked to a menu of evidence-based interventions that schools can choose from to implement
    A dashboard system in
    which these data are shared with schools and linked to a menu of evidence-based interventions that schools can choose from to implement

    Web-based professional development and coaching to support the implementation of selected interventions

    Tools to monitor
    the progress and effectiveness of interventions selected