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J Pediatr Health Care. 2017 Jul - Aug;31(4):484-492. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2016.12.007. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Characteristic Differences Between School-Based Health Centers With and Without Mental Health Providers: A Review of National Trends.



Minority racial/ethnic pediatric populations and those living in poverty are at greater risk of exposure to trauma, development of mental health disorders, and school failure yet are less likely to have access to mental health services (MHS). School-based health centers (SBHCs) staffed with mental health providers may be one strategy for decreasing health care disparities.


Secondary analysis of the cross-sectional School-Based Health Alliance Census School Year 2010-2011 Report was conducted. Descriptive statistics and chi-square analysis were used to describe differences between SBHCs with and without onsite MHS.


A total of 70% of SBHCs offered MHS. SBHCs with more resources, more students, a longer history, and state funding were more likely to offer MHS, and geographic location had no impact on service availability.


Reviewing SBHC characteristics that enable inclusion of MHS may help stakeholders expand this model of care to address exposure to chronic childhood trauma.


Academic achievement; child and adolescent health; chronic childhood trauma; health care disparities; mental health services; school-based health centers

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