The Promise and Challenge of School-Based Mental Health Care for Girls of Color
The majority of youth who need mental health services don’t receive care — a trend that has persisted over time. The gap between the need for care and access to care is accentuated for youth of color. Because young people between the ages of 5 and 19 spend most of their waking hours in school settings, school-based health centers are particularly suited to close that gap. School-based health programs serve as entry points to primary care, while also being part of a larger care system or a “medical home,” especially for children who otherwise lack consistent access to care. Services are available through “push technology” (always offered through the school year) rather than obligating students and parents to “pull” resources by initiating or activating contact independently.