Schools take lead on screening, interventions, and referrals to enable young people to grow into healthy and thriving adults
November 18, 2021 – Portland, Oregon
OR––Reclaiming Futures, along with Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI), and King County Best Start for Kids have published a new School-Based Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SB-SBIRT) Playbook, a collection of actions and considerations called “Plays” to assist a school district or school with implementing the SB-SBIRT model. The Plays were developed based on the experience of implementing the solution across 12 school districts in King County, WA using Tickit Health’s Check Yourself tool and provide a clear road map to effectively implement a school wide wellness program based around SBIRT and Check Yourself.
As a public health approach, SBIRT – or Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment – was traditionally used to identify and substance use and related risks. Reclaiming Futures along with SCRI and King County, broke ground by modifying the traditional SBIRT model to focus more holistically on the youth and school environment. Other key features of innovative approach include employing universal rather than targeted screening, screening for strengths and assets, as well as mental health challenges and embedding the whole process in the multi-tiered intervention systems that many effective schools use.
“Youth spend a large majority of their time in school, making schools an ideal environment to support the psychosocial needs of students through developing connections with school and community supports and services and have evolved from being focused solely on the academic attainment of children to a place where education of the whole child is taking precedence,” said Evan Elkin, Executive Director, Reclaiming Futures. “Using SBIRT, schools are seeing positive impacts to youth academic performance including improving attendance and grades and decreasing the frequency of disciplinary actions like suspensions and expulsions.” Research has established a link between student-level academic success and social-emotional health that is bi-directional; a change in one area can predict change in the other. Using universal screening for mental health reduces dependence on reactive identification systems that rely on teacher referrals or the occurrence of externalizing behaviors and reduces the chances that a youth in need will be missed.
“Tickit’s Digitally Empathic screening platform enabled schools in King County to connect meaningfully with each student,” said Dr. Sandy Whitehouse, CEO, Tickit Health. “The non-judgemental approach with interactive feedback engages students, while identifying those who could benefit from receiving brief intervention. The strengths-based data provides a strong starting point for conversations with students.”
In King County, Washington, more than 15,000 students have participated in SBIRT to date. Using at-a-glance analytics through a secure dashboard, school counsellors/interventionists monitor and triage students in real time, resulting in efficient and streamlined intervention. Tickit’s Check Yourself-School Based solution uses flags to assist with the process where a yellow flag indicates the need for a non-urgent brief intervention, and a red flag alerts to concerns that must be addressed immediately or within 24 hours. Nearly half of participating students received a brief intervention – a light touch collaborative conversation with a counselor designed to offer students support and determine the need for a referral for treatment. Seventeen percent of participating students were referred to services. One of the most powerful findings from the work is that universal SBIRT allows counsellors to learn about the needs of youth that were not previously known to them and to serve students who tend to internalize issues that may put them at risk.
Schools can now use the new step-by-step Playbook along with the Tickit Check Yourself screening tool and training and support from Reclaiming Futures to implement a comprehensive health and wellness strategy.
About Reclaiming Futures
Reclaiming Futures is a national public health organization working across youth serving systems including schools, juvenile justice and child welfare to improve equity and positive behavioral health outcomes for youth and families. They work at the city, county and state level to implement developmentally appropriate and evidence-based treatment responses sustained by community supports. The Reclaiming Futures model promotes cross-system collaboration; evidence-based practices; positive youth development principles; and effective ways to address the root causes of racial and ethnic disparities. For more information on the company, visit www.reclaimingfutures.org.
About Tickit Health, Ltd
Tickit Health is a privately-held company founded to enhance the communication between patients, students, schools, and providers. The organization’s award-winning flagship solution, known as Tickit Ⓡ captures data directly from–and communicates with–hard to reach populations. Unlike traditional survey and assessment methods, Tickit is based on the science and psychology of Digital Empathy which is proven to improve organizational efficiency, enabling better decision making through increased response rates and quality of data. The company’s more than 50 evidence-based and validated assessments, surveys, and questionnaires are used by over 500 organizations including healthcare, education, and social services. For more information on the company, visit www.tickithealth.com, follow us on Twitter @TickitHealth or LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/tickithealth
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