3.a – Supporting Mental Health for Students & Staff

During the pandemic, many students were exposed to trauma, disruptions in learning, physical isolation, and disengagement from school and peers, which could negatively affect their mental health. Supporting the social, emotional, and mental health of students will significantly improve student outcomes and help our students thrive.


Connect non-academic investments to student success. Consider consistently communicating the impact of how non-academic investments benefit student well-being and learning acceleration.
Elevate community voices who can speak to the “why.” Some audiences may be skeptical about schools providing mental health services. It is important to emphasize that your district made its investment decisions based on local needs and in collaboration with local stakeholders. Amplifying the voices of parents, students, and educators can advance this objective.


Know who the services where available to AND who received services.
How were students identified for support, especially those who were disproportionately impacted by COVID?​
If funds were passed onto schools, how were school funds determined?

A theory of action, or logic model, is a tool to help you explain and talk about the reasons why resources were deployed as they were. The following graphic illustration of the relationship between a program’s resources, activities, and its intended effects is meant to help you speak about this investment priority. Logic models clearly and concisely show how interventions affect behavior and achieve a goal.

Download the graphic as a template you can edit.
Resource links related to research on this investment priority:

  •  Department of Education, (2021), ED COVID-19 HANDBOOK Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs, Volume 2,  https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/reopening-2.pdf page 8 
  • Klem, A. M., & Connell, J. P. (2004). Relationships matter: Linking teacher support to student engagement and achievement. Journal of School Health, 74(7), 262–273. 
  • Croft, M., Moore, R., & Guffy, G. (2019). Supporting the Mental Health and Well-Being of High School Students. ACT. Retrieved from: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/research/reports/act-publications/mental-health-report.html
  • Bradshaw, C., Mitchell, M., & Leaf, P. (2010). Examining the effects of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports on student outcomes: Results from a randomized controlled effectiveness trial in elementary schools. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 12(3), 133-148.

This section contains a templates to support messaging of ESSER investments related to supporting student mental health.