Skip Navigation

Mental Health Services

Update as of April 1, 2023

The Mental Health Coordinator (MHC) continues to provide support to students, families, and staff in response to deaths and violent incidents. More specifically, the following schools received Crisis Response Support between January 2023 and March 2023: District Heights Elementary School, Templeton Elementary School, Gwynn Park Middle School, Northwestern High School, Bladensburg High School, Parkdale High School and Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School. 

Other Duties
The MHC also provided consultation on the Behavior Threat Processes to Bond Mill Elementary School, Hyattsville Middle School, Kenmoor Middle School, Francis Scott Key Elementary School and Oxon Hill Elementary School. These consultations included recommendations for next steps, such as development of a safety plan, implementation of restorative practices and contacting parents. For more information on this topic, please see Board Policy 2952 - Behavior Threat Assessment.pdf

The MHC continues to partner with the PGCPS Director of Community Schools to facilitate monthly mental health provider meetings. The MHC is a liaison between the private mental health agencies that PGCPS partners with to provide mental health services in 168 of the district’s schools. In addition, the PGCPS Youth First Care Team will continue its work through June 30, 2023. The team consists of the Associate Superintendent of Student Services, the Mental Health Coordinator and other PGCPS central office administrators, and collaborates to facilitate the integration of contract mental health clinicians into the schools. The MHC initiated quarterly meetings with the private mental health agencies to provide clarity regarding PGCPS’ requirements, support mental health clinicians and fill any vacancies.

Further, the MHC collaborated with members from community partners who are part of the Overdose Task Force to develop and carry out a plan to prevent and respond to student overdoses. Community partners on this task force include the Prince George’s County Health Department, Prince George’s County Police Department, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and Prince George’s County Fire Department. As part of the task force efforts, the MHC presented to staff at High Point High School on Secondary Traumatic Stress on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Additionally, the MHC collaborated with the PGCPS Employee Assistance Program’s Rapid Response Team to provide a counselor to be available for High Point High School’s staff members on Thursday, March 9, 2023, in response to multiple student overdoses that have occurred in the school building. 

The MHC also was a liaison between the PGCPS Department of Student Services and school-based mental health clinicians to organize train-the-trainer sessions for Fentanyl Awareness. Mental health clinicians will collaborate with their school-based teams of School Psychologists, Professional School Counselors, Pupil Personnel Workers and School Nurses to give the Fentanyl Awareness presentations to middle and high school students this spring.  

Moreover, the PGCPS Department of Student Services hosted another Wellness Wednesday virtual session for families: 

  • February 1, 2023 – Attendance featured an overview of laws in Maryland, reasons for school phobia and school refusal/avoidance, and how to support students being present in school for their academic success.
    • This session was attended by 40 participants, including parents/guardians, students and PGCPS staff members.

Wellness Wednesdays will continue to provide informative and interactive content on mental health, well-being and family resources. Spanish interpreters are always available during these sessions. The next scheduled Wellness Wednesday will be held on May 3, 2023. 

In an effort to connect all school-based mental health professionals together, the MHC also created the first PGCPS Mental Health Monthly Newsletter. While this newsletter is intended for school-based mental health professionals, the MHC is also exploring the logistics for a similar parent/guardian or family mental health newsletter. 

Finally, the PGCPS Department of Student Services was awarded two school-based mental health grants and is actively working to complete activities in each grant, below.

  1. The School Based Mental Health Grant is a partnership with Johns Hopkins University and PGCPS focused on recruiting and retaining new Professional School Counselors and School Psychologists. Grant activities include advertisement of positions through American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) webpages, professional conferences, and assigning mentors to school counseling interns from Johns Hopkins University.
  2. Project Prevent will implement activities to decrease and respond to community violence. For February - April 2023, these activities include selecting universal mental health screeners for students in kindergarten, 6th and 9th grade; planning the implementation of the Handle with Care program PGCPS violence prevention workgroup; and Trauma Sensitive Schools training.