Counseling and Mental Health Services of the Coordinated School Health Model

Health and Safety Code §161.325 (outside source) states that the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in coordination with TEA and regional education service centers (ESCs), shall provide and annually update a list of recommended best practice-based programs for implementation in public elementary, junior high, middle, and high schools within the general education setting. DSHS, TEA, and each ESC is required to make the list easily accessible on their websites. The list must include programs in the following areas:

  • Early mental health intervention
  • Mental health promotion and positive youth development
  • Substance abuse prevention
  • Substance abuse intervention
  • Suicide prevention

For more information about the Public Schools Best Practice-Based Resources, please visit the DSHS website (outside source).

Suicide Prevention Training for Educators in Public Schools

House Bill (HB) 2186 (outside source), which was passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, and signed into law by Governor Abbott on June 19, 2015, requires suicide prevention training to all new school district and open-enrollment charter school educators annually and to existing school district and open-enrollment charter school educators on a schedule adopted by the TEA by rule. Training must be selected from the list of recommended best practice-based programs that is provided by the DSHS. School districts and open-enrollment charter schools may also select programs through an independent review of online suicide prevention training materials that comply with the guidelines (PDF, 84KB) developed by the TEA. More information about this training is included in this correspondence (PDF, 131KB). If you have further questions regarding this training, please contact Victoria Ellis in the Division of Educator Preparation by email at or by telephone at (512) 936-8400, Option 5.

Texas school districts provide services to improve students' mental, emotional, and social health. These services include individual and group assessments, interventions, and referrals. Organizational assessment and consultation skills of counselors and psychologists contribute to the health of students and the health of the school environment. Professionals such as certified school counselors, psychologists, and social workers provide these services. 

    School Guidance and Counseling is implemented by Professional School Counselors to reduce dropout rates, improve academic performance, and increase participation in postsecondary education.

      Mental Health Related Links

      The following links provide information about mental health:

      Healthy Place (outside source)

      Mental Health America of Texas (outside source) 

      American Psychological Association (outside source) 

      Promising Practices Network-Mental Health (outside source)

      National Alliance on Mental Illness (outside source)

      Safe Alternatives (outside source)

      Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (outside source)

      National Institute of Mental Health (outside source)

      American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (outside source)

      The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (outside source)

      School Mental Health (outside source)

      Center for Mental Health in Schools (outside source)

      Virtual Toolbox for Mental Health in Schools (outside source)

      Center for Disease Control (CDC) Mental Health Be Smart. Be Well (outside source)

      Texas Department of State Health Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse (outside source)

      SAMHSA Coping with Disasters and Traumatic Events (outside source)

      Crisis Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Resources (outside source)

      Suicide Prevention Related Links

      The following links provide information about suicide prevention:

      Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (outside source)

      National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (outside source)

      Jason Foundation (outside source)

      Texas Department of State Health Services Suicide Prevention (outside source)

      Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide (outside source)

      Texas Suicide Prevention (outside source)

      American Association of Suicidology (outside source)

      Is Your Home Suicide Proof (outside source)

      Center for Disease Control (CDC) Suicide Prevention (outside source)

      Suicide Prevention Resources

      The following resources are about suicide prevention:

      Coming Together To Care: A Suicide Prevention and Postvention Toolkit for Texas Communities (outside source)

      SAMHSA 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (outside source)

      SAMHSA Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools (outside source)

      Children’s Safety Network Suicide Prevention Resource Guide 2012 (outside source)