Wisconsin School Mental Health Services: Comparative Analysis and Successful Practices

School mental health services support student academic success, increase access to mental health resources outside of school, and contribute to positive health outcomes, such as improved well-being and decreased drug and alcohol use. The Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) is charged with improving children’s mental health services in Wisconsin through research and initiatives. OCMH requested this report to better understand the Wisconsin school-based mental health services, as well as the factors contributing to robust school mental health services. This report contains a comparative analysis of state-level policies for K-12 school mental health in Wisconsin and six other states. Additionally, this report analyzes OCMH survey data collected from school districts, as well as data from 11 supplemental interviews conducted with 12 school district mental health stakeholders. The report concludes with seven recommendations for OCMH on the state and district level related to sustainable funding, support for legislative action, community connections, resource sharing, and data collection.

Policy brief (pdf)


  • Course: Spring 2022 Workshop in Public Affairs, PA 869, taught by Sarah Halpern-Meekin
  • Authors: Hayley Barwick, Kelsey Gordon, Allie Kalik, Dana Nielsen
  • Client: Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health

Download report (pdf)