Funded in part by SAMHSA's Project AWARE initiative in collaboration with Connecticut State Department of Education and Connecticut Department of Children and Families
Resources for COVID and Beyond
Additional Resources for the School Community
About this Newsletter
We recently published a school mental health newsletter series. We hope you found the information useful in thinking about student, caregiver and school staff social-emotional well-being. If you missed any of the newsletters, please see the following links:

  • Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning (week one) - includes activities and handouts for educators and caregivers.
  • Caregiver Wellness (week two) includes tips and strategies for engaging in self-care and digital resources to help caregivers stay virtually connected.
  • Digital Citizenship (week three) - includes ways to help students engage in online learning and tips for helping maintain appropriate online behaviors.
  • Staff Wellness (week four) - includes resources to effectively manage anxiety, secondary traumatic stress and tips for engaging with positive social supports.

In addition to the resources in the newsletter series, there are several state- and/or federally-funded school-based initiatives available for free to schools and districts in Connecticut. 
CHDI is partnering with the State Department of Education and Department of Children and Families to offer these programs at no cost to interested and eligible schools. See below for program information.
Participating in School-Based Initiatives
Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative
The Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) is a middle- and high-school-level initiative that engages teachers, staff, administrators, and school resource officers through consultation, expert training, and capacity building activities. SBDI
helps schools meet the following goals: (1) Reduce exclusionary discipline, (2) Build knowledge and skills among school staff to recognize and manage behavioral health crises, and (3) Link youth who are at-risk of arrest to appropriate school- and community-based services and supports.

The CT State Department of Education is currently recruiting new schools to participate in SBDI for SY 2020-2021. To learn more and get involved, contact: Rebekah Behan ( ).
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools & Bounce Back
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Bounce Back (BB) are school-based group interventions for grades 5-12 and K-5, respectively. Both evidence-based, manualized treatment models are designed to help students who have reported trauma exposure and associated post-traumatic stress symptoms, and both CBITS and BB have been found to reduce PTSD and depressive symptoms.

Training, clinical consultation, and ongoing support for implementation is available at no cost to schools and districts throughout Connecticut. Recruitment is on a rolling basis, with upcoming training dates scheduled for early September 2020.

To learn more and get involved, contact:  Diana Perry  ( ).
School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation
The School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) is a web-based platform that offers schools and districts an opportunity to assess and implement targeted resources to support school mental health quality and sustainability. SHAPE was developed by the National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland. CHDI is available to provide free training and technical assistance to complete the assessment.

SHAPE has ongoing recruitment of new schools and districts for SY 2020-2021.To learn more and get involved, contact:  Rebekah Behan ( ).
Other Statewide Initiatives
Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education
Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (Project AWARE) is a comprehensive, trauma-informed multi-tiered system of support, currently being piloted in three CT school districts. This initiative is a SAMHSA-funded grant awarded to the CT State Department of Education, developed in collaboration with the CT Department of Children and Families. Lessons learned from this project will be used to help advance the feasibility of integrating a comprehensive mental health curriculum across the state.

To learn more about this project,
contact:  Jamie LoCurto  ( ).
Trauma-Informed School Mental Health Task Force
The Trauma-Informed School Mental Health Task Force is a statewide collaborative workgroup committed to building a comprehensive multi-tiered system that increases awareness, knowledge, and skills in trauma-informed practices, policies, and services for schools, behavioral health providers and families.

To learn more and get involved, contact: Jeana Bracey ( ).
To keep up with the latest information and resources related to families, educators and providers, check out these links from CHDI and our Project AWARE partners:

CHDI website:  COVID CHDI Portal

 CT State Department of Education website:  COVID SDE Portal

DCF website:  COVID DCF Portal

If you would like to opt out of receiving future School Mental Health Newsletters, please email:
For more info about Project AWARE or this newsletter contact:
Child Health and Development Institute
860.679.1519 |

Copyright ©2020. All Rights Reserved.