Tier One: Universal, whole-school approaches
Services at Tier 1 are geared toward the entire student body, including the majority of students who do not demonstrate behavioral or mental health challenges. At this level, the emphasis is on promoting positive mental health and preventing behavioral and mental health problems. Strategies for promoting positive mental health include: 1) creating physical and social environments and activities that are enjoyable for all students (e.g. sensory friendly contexts, caring adults, just-right activities); and 2) embedding strategies and activities that help children/youth cope with challenges (e.g. yoga, deep breathing).
The emphasis at this level is on broad, school-wide efforts to promote positive behavior and mental health such as:
- Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): There is strong evidence to support SEL programming.8
- Mental health literacy: There is moderate evidence to support mental health literacy efforts.9
- Stress management: There is strong evidence to support stress management efforts including yoga.10,11
- Social skills after-school programming: There is strong evidence to support after-school social skills programming.12
- Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS): Evidence-based.13
What you can do? First, in your everyday interactions with children/youth, tune into their affect/mood and social interactions. Share concerns with relevant school personnel. Become aware of and contribute to school-wide promotion and prevention initiatives.