The U.S. Surgeon General recently issued an advisory on mental health issues among youth, calling attention to this growing national crisis. Data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has revealed a significant increase in the number of school-age youth who are experiencing moderate to severe anxiety and depression. Half of all lifetime cases of diagnosable mental illnesses begin by age 14, and 75% of all lifetime cases of diagnosable mental illness begin by age 25, according to a study in the National Library of Medicine.
To better support the mental health of all students, the U.S. Surgeon General recommends that educators learn how to recognize signs of changes in mental and physical health among students, including trauma and behavior shifts; and that schools provide a support networks to meet student mental health needs.
This 3-unit Mental Health and Crisis Response in Schools course (ED P 590 01-11560) provides an overview of common mental health or psychosocial/emotional issues and other disorders facing school-age children. School- and research-based prevention and intervention programs are examined, including the topics of trauma-sensitive schools and crisis response.
As a prerequisite, Individuals should already possess at least one of the following credentials or licenses:
Pupil Personnel Services Credential
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Credentialed teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel service (PPS) professionals or licensed clinicians, therapists, or counselors who want to gain expertise in student mental health, trauma informed practices, and crisis response in schools.
Those who want to enhance their ability to collaborate with school- and community-based mental health providers
Education professionals who want to add valuable skills to advance further in their careers
The 13-week course equals three units of instruction.
The course models synchronous and asynchronous learning by meeting in online classrooms at students’ convenience.
The course is approved by California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and can be transferred into the CSULB Masters/PPS School Counseling credential program.
Successfully complete 3 units of instruction
Common emotional and behavioral disorders of school-age youth and their effects on academic, social, and emotional development
Factors that affect pathways into mental health services for ethnic minority youth and students with disabilities
The roles and services provided by school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and community-based clinical providers within a Multi- Tiered System of Support (MTSS)
How to respond to student mental health needs during times of transition, separation, heightened stress, and critical change
Crisis response and intervention strategies that meet the needs of the individual, group, or school community—before, during, and after a crisis
Knowledge of trauma-informed care practices
Dr. Caroline Lopez-Perry is the program coordinator in the school counseling program at CSULB, with over 16 years of experience as a university professor and former school counselor. Prior to her work in education, Dr. Lopez-Perry was a counselor at a residential treatment center for children in the foster care system. She recently served with the California Department of Education Mental Health Work Group, which focused on understanding K-12 student mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently serving her third term on the board of directors for the California Association of School Counselors (CASC) and was a key contributor to the development of the recently updated California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Pupil Personnel Services. She co-authored the Best Practice Guidelines for California School Counselors and is the recipient of the 2021 CASC Counselor Educator of the Year and 2019 Alabama Counseling Association Research awards.
Dr. Caroline Lopez-Perry, Associate Professor
Rachel Andrews, PPS, LPCC is a Mental Health and Wellness Counselor at Redondo Union High School, and part-time lecturer in the CSULB Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling. She has 15 years of counseling experience in schools serving students from grades 6-12, as well as college. She is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credentialed School Counselor. Rachel has served on the state board for California Scholarship Federation, the California Junior Scholarship Federation, and the California Association of School Counselors, the LA County Office of Education School Counseling Advisory Board, and the LMU Counseling Advisory Board. She earned her Masters Degree in Counseling with the Pupil & Personnel Services Credential and License in Professional Clinical Counseling from Loyola Marymount University; as well as her GATE Certification from UC Irvine and Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara.
Rachel Andrews, Mental Health and Wellness Counselor