Tier 1 Universal Strategies

School-Wide Mental Health Promotion

Tier 1 strategies emphasize mental health promotion for ALL students with and without disabilities and/or mental health challenges. The purpose of information provided in this tab is to share user-friendly materials that will help all school personnel understand what Tier 1 services are and be able to embed mental health promotion strategies throughout the day. The ultimate goal is to help all children and youth be mentally healthy and learn how to take care of their mental health.

Be a Mental Health Promoter

First, make sure to read the Moments for Mental Health tab as these 10 mental health promotion strategies provide guidelines for how to be a mental health promoter! Click here for a 1-page handout - Cheat Sheet: How to Be a Mental Health Promoter.

Next, go through the materials provided in the left sidebar and think about what you can do in small and big ways. Better yet, review these materials with your colleagues to see what you can do as a team!

Major Tier 1 strategies:

  1. Make children's mental health YOUR business! Tune into every student's mental health. Observe student's affect or emotional state. Does the person seem to feel good emotionally (happy?) and do well in everyday tasks?
  2. Collaborate with other team members. Get everyone 'on board'. Talk about what you can do together to help students be mentally healthy. Share Every Moment Counts website resources. Don't assume that a handful of mental health providers in the school can do this work alone! After all, 'it takes a village'! Decide as a team how you will all learn about and promote positive mental health.
  3. Identify and contribute to existing school-wide mental health efforts, that may include: SEL (Social & Emotional Learning), PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports, character education, bully prevention, etc. Find out what school-wide initiatives your school has committed to.
  4. Create positive environment for all students to participate and enjoy their school day. Do what you can to help students feel comfortable and happy in the classroom, hallway, restrooms, cafeteria and playground. Begin by observing areas throughout the school campus and evaluating whether the environment is pleasant, safe and inviting for all students. Check out the Cafeteria Environmental Scan and Recess Environmental Scan for evaluating these school contexts. Help implement the Comfortable Cafeteria or Refreshing Recess model programs.
  5. Promote mental health literacy! Help all students and adults develop a working knowledge of positive mental health and how maintain it, the warning signs of mental ill-health, and how to seek help when needed. To start, use the information sheets and handouts in the Mental Health Literacy tab on the left to help teach students about mental health.

Major Tier 1 Approaches. Although there are many approaches that can be applied within a mental health promotion framework, some of the major approaches are listed below with supporting materials provided in the tabs on the left.