Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #43
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Key Themes in School-Based Mental Health

Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W196b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Cynthia M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (Appalachian State University)
MARK D. WEIST (University of South Carolina)
Mark D. Weist is a professor and director of the Clinical-Community Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech in 1991. For 19 years, he was on the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he helped to found and direct the Center for School Mental Health, one of two national centers providing leadership to the advancement of school mental health policies and programs in the United States. He is currently leading federally and university funded research grants on Quality in School Mental Health, Assisting High School Youth with Emotional Disabilities, and Developing and Testing Integrated Health-Mental Health Promotion for Youth in Schools. He helped found the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (INTERCAMHS). Dr. Weist has edited seven books and has two more in progress. He has published and presented widely in the school mental health field and in the areas of trauma, violence, and youth, evidence-based practice, and cognitive behavioral therapy. With colleagues from the Clifford Beers Foundation and the University of Maryland, he edits Advances in School Mental Health Promotion with new publisher Routledge of Taylor & Francis.

School mental health programs and services reflect a "shared agenda" involving schools, families, and other community systems working together to promote student health and wellness and reduce nonacademic barriers to learning. With its emphasis on research-proven intervention strategies and low-inference decision-making, behavior analysis (and behavioral psychology more generally) plays a key role in school mental health. A main focus of school mental health programs is to help schools adopt and sustain evidence-based practices with a focus on prevention and intervention. School mental health has received increased attention in recent years, because of wider recognition of difficulties students can face and policy changes reflecting renewed interest in social behavior interventions and data-based decision-making. In this presentation, key themes facing the school mental health movement will be described. In addition, strategies for assisting schools in the identification, adoption and high fidelity implementation of evidence-based interventions will be described. Dr. Weist will review prominent policy directions and describe the National Community of Practice and its initiatives and resources.

Target Audience:

Master's and doctoral level behavior analysts conducting research or practice supporting typically developing students in school settings.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Identify key themes in school mental health. (2) Describe evidence-based interventions appropriate for use in school settings. (3) Identify federal and state-level policies affecting service delivery in schools. (4) Describe a research agenda to forward behavior analysis and school-based mental health.        
Keyword(s): intervention, prevention, shared agenda



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