Region 4 Education Service Center Partnership
SUMMARY – In 2020, The Hackett Center for Mental Health partnered with Region 4 Education Service Center (ESC) to develop an Emotional Wellness Strategic Implementation Framework and a Mental Health Needs Dashboard to examine and prioritize the needs of the 1.2 million students in the largest ESC in Texas.
Regional Education Service Centers (ESCs) were established in 1967 by the Texas Legislature to assist school districts in improving student performance, operating more efficiently, and implementing state educational initiatives. Region 4 is the largest ESC in Texas, serving a seven-county area comprised of 47 public school districts, 40 charter schools, more than 1.2 million students, 105,000 educators, and 1,500 campuses. Region 4 offers essential services, training opportunities, and resources to schools in the region so that educators may provide the highest quality education to Texas students.
Emotional Wellness Strategic Implementation Framework
Region 4 became the coordinator and provider of crisis services in response to Hurricane Harvey and the tragic shooting in the Santa Fe Independent School District. Catalyzed by these experiences, Region 4 engaged The Hackett Center to develop a strategic framework to organize and prioritize their current mental health activities and objectives into a sustainable, integrated set of strategic priorities. Based on key interviews, analysis of documents and information related to the mental health services and crisis response supports provided by the ESC, and the estimated general prevalence of mental health conditions and needs by district within the region, we recommended a framework with seven key components:
- Effective Partnerships
- Needs Assessment and Resource Mapping
- Multi-Tiered System of Supports
- Empirically Supported Treatments
- Family-School-Community Teaming
- Data Collection, Analysis, Utilization, and Reporting
- Funding Stream Diversity
Mental Health Needs Dashboard
Further collaboration between The Hackett Center and Region 4 led to the creation of the Mental Health Needs and Supports Dashboard, an interactive map of regional school districts. The dashboard includes information such as:
- County-level mental health prevalence rates for children and youth
- Mental health agencies in each school’s county
- Availability of crisis supports for neighboring Local Education Associations
- Types of specialized mental health trainings available to each district
- Availability of staff trained in crisis response interventions
Designed to easily examine the mental health gaps, needs, and opportunities within Region 4 Local Education Associations, this tool provides the Region 4 team with direct and immediate access to data related to mental health services, supports and training. The dashboard can be used to help educators improve academic performance and life outcomes for students by focusing on mental health needs and supports.
This data is essential as we apply a research-based framework model to expand and enhance our supports.
Kelly Ingram, EdD, Deputy Executive Director, Division of Instructional Services, Region 4 Education Service Center
Since its development, Region 4 has used the dashboard to start conversations with schools about how to best address the mental health needs of students.
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