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Strengthening Mental Health in Education

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Strengthening Mental Health in Education (SMHiE) 2.0

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The Strengthening Mental Health in Education Initiative 2.0 represents a collaboration of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Oregon Health Authority (OHA), state, ESD, district, Tribal, community-based organization, and local partners to promote and support school-based mental health across Oregon.

The collective effort is designed to ensure that Oregon's students, families, and school staff have full access to culturally responsive, linguistically attuned mental and behavioral health resources.

This $5.5 million, two-and-a-half-year investment furthers the implementation of ODE's Integrated Model of Mental Health, related Mental Health Toolkit, and Care and Connection Campaign, and builds on the work of Oregon's 2021 National Governor's Association Whole Child Initiative, and 2020 Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) SMHiE 1.0 project.


SMHiE 2.0 will fulfill the following primary goals:

Goal 1 – Mental Health Literacy of Oregon School Communities (2022-2024)

Increase access to evidence-based Mental Health Literacy programs to school staff, leaders, families, students, and community members.

Goal 2 – Credentialed Mental Health Professional Learning for Community Care Specialists and School Staff (2022-2024)

Development of program to enhance knowledge of those serving students and families with professional learning re: child development, mental health consultation, and the IMMH. Includes supervision.

Goal 3 - Community Care Specialist Project (January 2022- June 30, 2024)

A 2.5-year Community Care Specialist formative development project including 1 urban (Hillsboro), 2 rural (South Lane and Phoenix-Talent), and 1 frontier (Lake) district (pre-K-6) that have: (a) racial/cultural/linguistic/regional diversity, (b) existing linguistically/culturally responsive family liaisons, (c) alignment with county system of care resources, (d) well-established early learning hubs/preschool programs. Project will include:
  • Community resource mapping, credentialing process/strategy, professional development criteria
  • Recruitment and professional development of Community Care Specialists (1 per selected school or site / 6 total)
  • Intensive collaboration/coordination with districts, families, students, community partners, funding entities
  • 360-degree mixed-methods, iterative evaluation for learning (interim report February 2023 / final report September 2024).

Fulfillment of these goals will include significant engagement with students, families, school staff and leaders, professional organizations and community partners. For more information please contact Dr. B Grace Bullock, Senior Mental Health Officer, at

Download the SMHiE 2.0 One-Pager here

Back to Mental Health and Well-being Home Page


  • B. Grace Bullock, Ph.D. - Senior Mental Health Officer, Office of the Director
  • Arden Robinette - Mental Health Project Coordinator, Office of the Director

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