Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Ed. Specalist

Degree

Ed.S.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Kathy Bradley-Klug

Keywords

interdisciplinary partnership, intervention, prevention, students, youth

Abstract

Although collaboration between school psychologists and community-based mental health professionals is essential in the provision of comprehensive and effective mental health services for youth with intensive mental health needs, youth may not receive the full benefit of these coordinated efforts, as collaboration may not occur as often as it should. This study investigated the frequency of communication and collaboration between school- and community-based professionals, the purposes and methods of communication, and the benefits and barriers to collaboration. Survey data from 80 members of the Florida Association of School Psychologists were collected and analyzed. Forty-three percent of school psychologists reported communicating and collaborating with community-based mental health professionals between one and four times a year. Findings indicated that school psychologists prefer to communicate through phone calls, written reports, and face-to-face discussion; they also perceive these methods of communication to be most effective. Barriers to collaboration included limited accessibility of community professionals and lack of time to collaborate. A significant relationship was found in communication frequency and number of professional development hours received related to mental health. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to developing strategies for practitioners and trainers of school psychologists aimed at optimizing the mental health of youth.

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