Stanford Community Applauds District Partnership of Research and Practice to Support Student Mental Health
Multi-tiered support for students’ mental health, and a community need to implement forward thinking, proactive programs on school campuses were the catalyst for the Stanford Redwood City Sequoia Mental Health Collaborative. Accomplishments of this strategic alliance most recently earned a 2023 Stanford Community Partnership Award.
The Collaborative, initiated in 2020, has proved to be highly successful in expanding school mental health support and delivery. With the implementation of this partnership, at least 75 percent of Redwood City School District (RCSD) students indicate they now feel comfortable speaking with a counselor, recognize their school counselor, and know where to go to access counseling on campus.
“Without the support from Stanford, it would have been hard for us to do this because we are educators not mental health professionals,” said Redwood City School District Superintendent Dr. John Baker.
“Because of our partners and the expertise of these professionals, we were able to implement what has flourished as a systemic, proactive, powerful, and potentially life-saving program.”
The award-winning Collaborative includes RCSD, Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD), and expert guidance from Stanford’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities (Gardner Center), as well as Stanford Medical Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences’ Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Finding available access to mental health care, especially for younger children, can be challenging. Offering multilingual support such as counseling on campus improves mental health outcomes for students and increases the likelihood that services will be accessible and usable for those in need. RCSD ‘s mental health clinicians provided 9,918 services in the 2021-22 school year to its students, a District with 6,500 students.
Complementing RCSD programs and initiatives such as on-site counseling and curriculum integrated Social Emotional Learning, Stanford offers the clinical expertise and technical assistance to enhance District efforts.
In addition to RCSD school site counselors, schools also have the assistance of a supplemental clinician from Stanford’s team. The Collaborative’s support strengthens District programs so that RCSD may address not only routine mental health needs but also those more complex.
RCSD staff and Stanford team members work together to put in place best practices for school sites based on data and emerging needs. Clinicians are also available to assist the District in making the most of Social and Emotional Learning tools already in place and to offer resource ideas for day-to-day coping skills for youth gleaned from research and analysis.
District initiatives, school improvements, and innovations are lifted up with support from Stanford as the RCSD community works toward a common goal of improving student mental health and overall wellbeing. Partnerships and collaborations such as the Stanford Redwood City Sequoia Mental Health Collaborative serve to facilitate positive outcomes for all youth.
Awardees for the 2023 Stanford Community Partnership Award are nominated by the Stanford University campus community and selected by a committee made up of both community and University representatives. Partnership awardees are selected for their creative and collaborative efforts to meet regional needs.