Student Mental Health Resources

  Local Orange County Resources  

This is a free 24-hr information and referral service for information about: hotlines, food and shelter assistance, help with drug abuse, violence, and other health issues. 

CYS-CAT offers emergency psychiatric evaluations for minors under 18. This 24/7 mobile crisis team
responds to schools and other community settings where youth congregate. 
(866) 830-6011
Provides suicide prevention trainings for adults and youth 15 years of age or older. SafeTALK training prepares you to help by using TALK (Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep Safe) to identify and engage people with thoughts of suicide and to connect them with further help and care. For more extensive adult training the 2-day ASIST training is available. Also provides support groups for survivors after suicide. 
(310) 895-2329
Help Me Grow Orange County
Connects children and their families to developmental services to enhance the development, behavior and learning of children birth through five years. Parents, caregivers, child care providers, early educators and health care providers can access developmental services for all young children who live in Orange County.
(866) 476-9025
Human Options Hotline
This is a 24-hour bilingual hotline and shelter for battered women and their children.
(949) 737-5242 or (877) 854-3594
National Alli​ance on Mental Illness Orange County (NAMI OC) Warm Line
Call the warm line if you are lonely or confused, have a substance abuse and/or mental health concern or need information about available mental health services offered for families and support groups. NAMI trainings for school settings include: Free education meetings for parents, school outreach trainings for students, and multi-week programs for staff (Parents and Teachers as Allies). Services are available in multiple languages. 
NAMI Warm Line:  (714) 991-6412
Live chat available at:
For education program information call the Santa Ana office:  (714) 544-8488
A new Orange County information and referral phone service for mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, prevention and intervention for all age groups. Hosted by the OC Health Care Agency. Post this informational flyer at your workplace, community center, faith-based organization, etc. 
(855) 625-4657 or go online:

Orange County Mental Health Services for Children and Youth
A list of services organized by Orange County region with payment information.

Project Renew
Project RENEW (Reaching Everyone Needing Effective Wrap), serves Orange County children from birth to age 18, who are seriously emotional disturbed (SED) or seriously mentally ill (SMI). The program focuses on unserved or underserved children and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention Hotline
This is a 24-hr suicide prevention crisis hotline and can provide help to cope with survivor grief or loss.
(877) 727-4747
Teen Crisis Line
For youth ages 12-17, provides help for pregnant youth and runaways. Spanish spoken.
(800) 914-2272

The Kinship Center Canyon Acres Ranch
The Kinship Center provides individual, family, and group counseling to children up to age 21 and their families on issues such as adoption adjustment, attachment difficulties, anxiety, grief, depression, attention deficit disorder, family conflict, behavioral symptoms and more. For more information on hours, payment options and the types of services and support groups Canyon Acres offers click here.
(714) 979-2365

The Well Program
The Well Program is a children’s mental health outreach and engagement program that promotes emotional and social well-being in Orange County’s children and youth in unserved and underserved communities.
(888) 955-6570 or

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   Student Mental Health Resource Portals & Search Engines
A to Z Disorder Guide

The New York University Child Study Center (CSC) provides an overview of a number of children’s mental health disorders as well as related articles, organizations, and websites where you can find in-depth information on each topic.

As part of the Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative statewide coordination activities, the Sacramento County Office of Education has developed a website that features a clearinghouse of resources for educators and others. In their clearinghouse of resources you will find school-based prevention and early identification strategies that promote student mental health.

Children's Mental Health Disorder Fact Sheet for the Classroom
The Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health (MACMH) provides information on a variety of mental health disorders with a description of symptoms, educational implications, instructional strategies and classroom accommodations, and resources for each disorder.
The California Department of Education provides strategies, key resources, and training in psychological and mental health issues, including coping with tragedy, crisis intervention and prevention, school psychology and suicide prevention.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services ( SAMHSA) has developed a searchable online registry of more than 260 interventions supporting mental health promotion, substance abuse prevention, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. We connect members of the public to intervention developers so they can learn how to implement these approaches in their communities.​
A wealth of information on teen behavior including presentations and publications. Information is developed by Dalhousie University's faculty of medicine for families, teens, educators and health professionals. Submit your questions to Dr. Stan Kutcher by clicking on "Ask an Expert".

White Paper by Kognito  
The UCLA School Mental Health Project Center for Mental Health in Schools has developed a search engine consisting of documents, resources and tools searchable by mental health topic.
 Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) Student Mental Health Resources
OCDE offers school-based violence prevention education services, provides conflict resolution training and support at no cost for public and private schools and community organizations. 

The OCDE Emergency Preparedness provides you with easy access to pertinent emergency preparedness information and resources as they relate to schools throughout Orange County.

Presentation slides from the one-day school staff training presented by OCDE's Student Mental Health Initiative team.

The OC Safe from the Start vision is to empower individuals, families, organizations, and communities to reduce children's early exposure to violence and reinforce the belief that every "Every Orange County Child is My Concern."  This public health campaign is a comprehensive strategy to assist communities in reducing the impact of violence on children.  The initiative targets children ages 0 to 18 with an emphasis on children ages 0 to 5, who have been exposed to family, school and /or community violence.

​​This Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Leadership Team provides training, coaching, and systems evaluation for Orange County Schools developing a systems approach to school -wide positive discipline in order to improve the social-emotional and academic outcomes of ALL students.

OCDE School Safety provides violence prevention and interventions on issues such as bullying, cyber-bullying, and gangs/drugs are critical components of creating an effective Safe School Plan and supports students in effectively learning in a safe school environment.
   Additional Student Mental Health Resources 
Behavior Management & Discipline
Education Week newsletter presents articles that explore alternative approaches to suspension or expulsion.


(Presentation Slides)
What is school climate and how does it impact student behavior? What school factors facilitate bullying behaviors? What school factors decrease bullying? What school-wide practices prevent and reduce bullying?

Childhood Bereavement

The Coalition to Support Grieving Students provides educators with the information and advice to better understand and meet the needs of students experiencing loss.

College created this resource to start a conversation about mental health among college students, families, and educators.


The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) presents a book for school mental health professional that offers individual, group, and school-level interventions and resources for depression in children and adolescents.  

Health & Well-Being

"New State of Mind” is a documentary that features the stories of individuals who refuse to stay silent while untreated mental illness takes an unnecessary toll on our families and communities. The film was produced  as part of the California Each Mind Matters movement which aims to increase the number of people who seek help for mental challenges by reducing stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.​​

A website that offers health related support and advice for parents, teens, and young children. The website contains information on body image, love and relationships, sexual health, drugs and alcohol, nutrition, fitness, and more.

Minding Your Mind’s (MYM) primary objective is to provide mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, their parents, teachers and school administrators. Our goal is to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues. Treatment is available, yet only 3 out of 10 individuals needing help actually seek help. Minding Your Mind Programs move away from crisis based response to prevention through education.

This brief, prepared by the National Association of School Psychologists, is a listing of research study findings.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Whole Child Initiative focuses on the whole child approach to learning and policies, practices, data, strategies, and tools that ensure that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Importance of Sleep

This guide provides college students helpful information for making good sleep decisions. You’ll learn why sleep is so important for students, what’s at stake in a good night’s sleep, how to spot sleep disorders, what it takes to develop a good sleep routine, and much more.

Sleep deprivation may be an epidemic, but it’s one we can stop. When we seek treatment for the conditions that keep us from sleep and clean up our sleep hygiene, we will sleep more. This will make us safer, happier, healthier, and more stable, both as individuals and as a culture.

This article reviews how the most common anxiety disorders affect sleep. An overview is provided of treatment options and suggestions for getting better sleep for each anxiety disorder.

Responding to School Violence

Based in Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Promise's sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child. SHP delivers, at no cost, four Know the Signs programs and practices that teach youth and adults to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late. SHP’s Know The Signs programs have helped stop multiple school shootings, suicides and gun threats, reduced bullying and
victimization, and helped hundreds of youth to receive mental health and wellness assistance. For more information about Sandy Hook Promise and our Know the Signs program, please visit

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) states that children’s reactions to shootings are greatly dependent on how parents, teachers, and caregivers respond to the event. This article explains common reactions and ways to take care of yourself and children.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) explores the physiological reactions to a shooting such as the reactions to danger, post-traumatic stress, grief, traumatic grief, depression, physical symptoms, trauma and loss reminders, and post-violent stress adversities, in addition to the consequences to these reactions.

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) explains how to communicate effectively with your children and suggests answers to common questions regarding the aftermath of a mass shooting.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers tips on how to talk to children about a shooting.

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This document is intended to provide a summary of the critical information available for educators and parents on helping teens who self-injure to insure that every teen gets the most appropriate and comprehensive consideration.

Social-Emotional-Character Development 

The Orange County Department of Education Character Education English-Language Arts Project is a set of sample classroom lesson plans that infuse character education and social-emotional learning into the English-Language Arts curriculum. The lessons in this database are free for educational use and searchable by character trait (respect, responsibility, integrity and related traits), grade level, literature title, and California English-Language Arts Standards Tool. 

Do you want to adopt a program to help students enhance their physical and emotional health and reduce problem behaviors? This article describes criteria based on theory, research, and best educational practice that identify key social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies and program features that educators who adopt these programs should consider.

Students' Perspective on Mental Health

A grassroots support network that connects, organizes, and empowers the voices of America’s underrepresented students. 

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13–24. The TrevorLifeLine is available 24/7/365, call 1-866-488-7386. 

The National Assembly on School-Based Healthcare (NASBHC) explains how to make students fee supported, both in school and in other areas of their lives and how adults at schools should respond to students with mental health problems.


Teenagers, like adults, may experience stress everyday and can benefit from learning stress management skills.  For parents, this resource provides information about how they can help their teen cope with stress.

Learn about stress and how it can impact your teen and what you can do about it.

The website provides basic information to teens on stress in addition to coping strategies, relaxation practices, and advice on managing difficult emotions.

Stressed Teens teaches mindfulness skills and provides tools for those in their pre-teen years through latter adolescence in addition to mindful suggestions for parents and families.

Eric Jensen, CEO of Jensen Learning, provides a list of useful information on stress and suggests practical ways to better manage stress in your everyday life.

A KidsHealth® Kids poll explored what kids stress about the most, how they cope with these feelings, and what they want their parents to do about it.

On-going stress without healthy coping strategies can have an impact on youth development, learning and behavior. This is an introductory presentation that addresses what youth say about their stress, the physiology of stress, signs and symptoms, and some core strategies to teach students to reduce their stress.


A toolkit by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention/Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) that consists of recommendations by national experts, school-based personnel, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals on how to address the aftermath of a suicide.

This tool kit addresses suicide prevention and responses to suicidal behaviors in three irrevocably interconnected and interdependent areas: 1. Promotion of mental and physical health and well-being. 2. Intervention in a suicidal crisis. 3. Postvention response to suicidal death.

An article by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) that explains ways that foster parents can identify at-risk youth, intervene, and get the youth connected to help.

Know the Signs is a statewide suicide prevention social marketing campaign built on three key messages: Know the signs. Find the words. Reach out. This campaign is intended to educate Californians how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, how to find the words to have a direct conversation with someone in crisis and where to find professional help and resources. 

This document outlines model policies and best practices for school districts to follow to protect the health and safety of all students. As suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 10-19, it is critically important that school districts have policies and procedures in place to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to youth suicidal behavior.  Here's a one-page fact sheet about the policy. Click link above for the complete policy document.

Presentation slides from the January 9, 2014 training presented by Didi Hirsch Agency at Orange County Dept. of Education.

A toolkit by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that consists of strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among students.

The L.A. County Youth Suicide Prevention Project has a whole page of web-based resources on self-injurious behavior including cutting. One web resource cited is Educators and Self-Injury and it provides information on how to recognize, understand, and respond to self-injury.

An article that explains causes and warning signs for suicide, facts and myths associated with suicide, and what you can do to reduce the risk of suicide in teens.

An article by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) discussing how to recognize warning signs of suicide, how to help suicide attempters and survivors, and also to how​ to help yourself and your fellow first responders.

This website has been especially developed for the 80 school districts within Los Angeles County, to provide administrators, staff, parents, and students with the most up-to-date information about the prevention, intervention, and postvention of suicide among our youth.

Talking with Parents about Mental Health

Parents and Teachers as Allies  (Archived Presentation)
This article helps school professionals and families better understand the early warning signs of mental illness in children and adolescents and how to intervene so that youth with mental health treatment needs are linked with services.


The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) explains ways that you can help young children, toddlers, and preschoolers recover from a crisis.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) explains ways that how children at different ages experience traumatic events and ways that schools can respond.

Learn about trauma, the impacts of trauma on youth, and the strategies and resources for educators to support students and families experiencing trauma. Presented by Alicia Rozum, Director, Mental Health, California School-based Health Alliance.

This article discusses steps on how to help children manage their feelings after a traumatic event. These steps include understanding their fears, offering reassurance, and providing routines that will help them feel loved and secure.

This article explains how to help your teenager cope with a traumatic event with suggestions on ways to talk with your teenager, support your teenager, and keep strong as a parent.

The Psychological First Aid (PFA) presents a clearly defined table explaining reactions, responses, and examples of things to do and say to school-age children after a disaster.

A slide presentation that presents an overview of the effects of trauma on children, PBIS and trauma-informed schools, and the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program.

This article addresses childhood trauma in the context of schools in the United States and presents strategies for addressing symptoms of trauma evident in certain student behavior patterns.

This archived webinar video by REL and WestEd presents a rationale for providing stress-management supports to adults who serve youth. One of the programs highlighted is the OCDE Resilient Mindful Learner project that provides stress management and mindfulness training for teachers and training to integrate into the classroom routine stress-reduction practices for students.

This article helps in understanding emotional reactions to traumatic events and tragedies, including frightening emergencies and sudden losses, with suggestions about coping and getting help.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) explains how to protect your children from exposure to graphic and distressful media while still informing them of the news related to the traumatic event that took place.

A presentation explaining brain development, the impact of trauma, the cross system collaborations, and evidence based practices and models to treat children affected by trauma.

A list of links and references on trauma informed education, mental health and child welfare. 

This presentation at the Southern Region Student Wellness Conference in July 2015 addresses traumatic experiences of youth, the impacts of these experiences, and how schools can respond. Presented by Pam Kahn and Lucy Vezzuto PhD.

Youth Mental Health

This presentation addresses common mental health disorders, risk factors, difference between normal behavior and a disorder, understanding referral resources and professional collaboration in support of students with mental health issues.

Materials from Trainings

Responding to Students Who Have Experienced Early Childhood Adversity

Adverse childhood experiences (such as abuse, family violence, substance abuse, mental illness, separation from a parent)  have been strongly  associated with difficulty learning, physical and mental health problems, and an increased likelihood of suicide, substance abuse, and incarceration. Learn how such experiences impact the developing child, the signs and symptoms you may see in the classroom, and what you can do to set your students on a path toward healing and more positive outcomes in school and in life. Presenter: Holly A. Magana, Ph. D, Psychologist, Trainer and Consultant. For materials, click here. For references, click here.

Thinking Outside the Box: Changing Student Behavior
All school staff can benefit from learning about children with challenging behaviors and how to help them manage their emotions. Learn what is perpetuating the behavior and ways to build resilience. For materials, click here.

Centralized Assessment Team (CAT): Children and Youth Behavioral Health (CYBH)
 Learn about the mobile crisis team that responds to psychiatric emergency calls throughout Orange County. CYBH/CAT will provide an overview of the services they offer, the welfare/institution codes and laws pertinent to crisis assessment of minors, when and how to make a referral to CYBH/CAT, and red flags and warning signs of high risk behaviors. You will also learn what to expect when CAT arrives, how an assessment is competed, and the potential outcomes of a crisis assessment. For materials, click here.

Preparing for Policy Change: A Suicide Prevention Forum
This forum will introduce the new suicide prevention policy for school districts and provide guidance on what school district policy and protocols should include. Our panel discussion will highlight what Orange County districts are already doing. Local agencies will present on their resources and how they support schools to meet student needs and policy requirements. For District office personnel, school counselors and psychologists, SARB/CWA Teams, student support services, and site administrators. For materials, click here.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T)
Mindfulness involves paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and can be cultivated through both formal and informal mindfulness practices. This training is for youth-serving professionals interested in supporting stressed adolescents to find relief and clarity by teaching them how to shift their thinking away from impulsive, thoughtless, and judgmental ways of reacting to life. Learn how to teach teens to build on the resources they already have inside. Presenter: Gina Biegel, MA, LMFT; Founder and Director of Stressed Teens.

Preventing Adolescent Suicide: What You Need to Know
Learn about the nature of suicide among youth, risk factors, and warning signs. Learn what to do, what to say, and where to go for resources for suicide prevention and postvention. For resources and materials, click here.  

Developing Your Suicide Prevention Policy: Working with the Experts
This is a hands-on workshop where you will work on your policy and create a postvention plan. Consult with the experts to align your district's current suicide prevention policy. Learn a comprehensive approach to the spectrum of school-based suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.  Meets the state requirement that the policy be developed in consultation with community stakeholders and suicide prevention experts. For resources and materials, click here.  

Enhancing School-Community Partnerships for Students' Emotional Well-Being
​T​here is something to be said for schools that integrate community-based programs to meet students' mental health needs. This training focuses on how to get these partnerships started, what to expect, policies to consider, and how to work together to attain the common goal of getting more students linked to mental health support services. ​ For materials, click here. 
Click Here For Access to Other Handouts and Materials