Student Mental Health Matters


Latest News

  • 2017-2018 Introduction to Resto​r​​​​ative Practices & Using Circles Effectively
    Two-Day Training by IIRP-Certified Trainer
    View upcoming dates​​​

  • I​n-District Restorative Practice Trainings Available
    Contact Lucy Vezzuto at

  • Student Mental Health & School Climate Trainings
    2017-2018 Schedule

  • Receive updates on our latest trainings.
    Contact Lucy Vezzuto at
  • Check out the OCDE Student Mental Health & School Climate Newsletter
    Fall ​2015


Why Care about Student Mental Health?

Schools are where children spend most of each day. While schools are primarily concerned with education, mental health is essential to learning as well as to social and emotional development. Because of this important interplay between emotional health and school success, schools must be partners in the mental health care of our children. (President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003, p. 58.)

Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Why Is Stud​ent Mental Health Important?​​

  • Students with good mental health are more successful in school.
  • Interventions that strengthen students’ social, emotional and decision-making skills positively affect their academic achievement (test scores and grades). (Fleming, et al., 2005)
  • Just as physical health impacts learning and performance, so does mental health. When students are stressed, anxious, distracted or depressed it is difficult to pay attention, concentrate, and focus on their school work.  

Orange County Fast Facts

  • 26% of 7th graders, 30% of 9th graders, and  33% of 11th graders felt sad or hopeless every day for 2 or more weeks and stopped doing some usual activities (WestEd 2014).
  • 20% of 9th and 19% of 11th graders seriously considered attempting suicide during a 12-month period (WestEd 2014).
  • 38% of 7th graders, 35% of 9th graders and 29% of 11th graders experience any harassment or bullying. (Wested 2014). 

Partners in Collaboration

Student Mental Health & School Climate Initiative is an initiative of the Orange County Dept. of Education Center for Healthy Kids & Schools (CHKS). The OCDE CHKS focuses on improving all students' health, wellness, fitness and readiness to learn. A multi-disciplinary team of experts is available to provide training, technical assistance, and resources to teachers, administrators, parents, local agencies and community organizations. ​​