Financing School Mental Health Programs

Finance Module screenshot

Schools play a critical role in addressing the mental health needs of students. Mental health supports and services work to address social, emotional, and behavioral challenges that interfere with learning essential to student success. 

Essential to student success, mental health programming should represent a crucial priority for elementary and secondary school systems, and for our broader communities.  

Frank Rider, Financing Specialist 

This online training curriculum series is designed to guide school systems and community partnerships in establishing a strategic financing process to secure resources necessary to sustain comprehensive school mental health programs. 

The series teaches local- and state-level collaborators how to systemically identify funding requirements, options, and strategies, following the five-step strategic financing process created by Frank Rider, AIR’s inaugural human services financing specialist, and refined through work with more than 100 federally funded grantees over more than a decade. Frank and his successor, Nancy Velasco, scripted and narrate this self-paced curriculum, enhanced with dozens of classic and updated information resources to inform tailored and actionable financing plans to sustain multi-tiered systems of support for K-12 students with a full range of mental health needs.    

Voices From the Field

We invite you to listen to this series of recorded interviews attesting to the power of individuals who have been committed to improve how communities can produce successful future generations through imaginative support for children, youth, and their families. When each person became engaged in their work, they neither intended nor envisioned themselves as driving forces propelling large-scale systemic change. Yet in each case, that is exactly what they set in motion. How do they explain what happened to take their work from modest scale to such wide impact? 

This collection of audio and written interviews captures experiences and acquired insight from a growing set of pioneers who have “taken things personally” in ways that have reshaped entire human service systems. These testimonials offer relatable examples that can teach and inspire others to start “rolling little snowballs down big mountains” to create enormous impacts from modest beginnings.

John Crocker, Methuen Public Schools (Methuen MA)

Rebecca Ornelas, AIR (El Paso, TX)

Stephanie Ellis PhD, Person County Schools (Eden, NC)

Carlos Romero, Apex Evaluation (Albuquerque, NM)