School Based Mental Health Programs

Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities

School-based mental health

School Based Mental Health Programs

The Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (BHDD) provides clinical support to the Fulton County School system with school-based therapists to address the behavioral health needs of students. Youth receive school-based individual and/or group counseling and case management services from master’s level licensed and/or licensed eligible clinicians. Referrals for additional resources, including more intensive behavioral health services are provided as needed. Through the school-based mental health expansion and sustainability initiative, all children (insured, uninsured and underinsured) have access to trauma focused mental health services through in-person counseling at the school, telehealth and tele-psychiatry.

Program goals of the model include:

  • Development and implementation of a consistent behavioral health model in all schools served.
  • Developing a trauma-informed school environment by training school staff on trauma-informed practices aimed at transforming the culture from punitive to trauma-focused 
  • Training all school personnel within each school served by providing six hours of trauma informed care training and ongoing monthly trauma training 
  • All children are eligible to receive services 

Text 4 Help

Through the Text for Help Program, Fulton County middle and high school students can send and receive confidential text messages and support from licensed clinicians. The program, operated under the governance of Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, is operated 365 days per year and 24 hours per day every day for students that may be in a crisis or for those who want to help friends or classmates. Licensed clinicians on call respond to text messages within 3 minutes of receiving the incoming text with referrals and resources. 

Each Fulton County school that utilizes the Text 4 Help system has a unique identifying code, however in the case of a life-threatening situation not only will emergency responders be immediately notified, but school personnel will also be contacted. The system allows teens freedom to reach out for help without fear due to text messages being routed through a cloaking server that keeps all information confidential. 

Text 4 Help is available for communication of any kind of concern, though it is primarily intended for students to use when they need immediate mental health assistance or have a drug/alcohol abuse concern for themselves or a friend.