CCRES Releases Evaluation of School-Community Liaison Program - Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County

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Press Release: CCRES Releases Evaluation of School-Community Liaison Program

September 18, 2020

Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County
1605 CR 1095
Ashland, OH 44805
(419) 281-3139

September 18, 2020

CCRES releases evaluation of School-Community Liaison Program

Report points to a wide range of services provided and ongoing needs for funding and support.

Ashland, OH: Ashland University’s Center for Community Research and Evaluation Services (CCRES) has released key findings and recommendations from a 20-year retrospective evaluation of the School-Community Liaison Program (SCLP).

Last year, the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County (AMHRB) contracted with CCRES to conduct an independent 20-year retrospective evaluation of SCLP. CCRES Directors Dr. Allyson Drinkard and Dr. Michael Vimont were the Principal Investigators for the program evaluation, with research assistance provided by two advanced AU undergraduates with research methods training. The evaluation was conducted over the period of February, 2019 to July, 2020. The Principal Investigators will be making a presentation on September 24 at 11 AM. Community members may attend the presentation via this Zoom link

The Ashland County SCLP was established in 1999 to provide support to students facing challenges that interfere with their academic success. Since then, the partnership between Appleseed Community Mental Health Center, the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County, and local school districts has served tens of thousands of students. The program is primarily funded by Ashland County citizens through the passage of the Mental Health and Recovery Board Levy, with additional funds dedicated by some individual school districts. The levy last passed in 2010 and is up for renewal in 2020.

The SCLP addresses concrete, therapeutic, and academic needs for students in grades pre-K through 12. The report includes some of the following key findings:

  • Students come to the attention of liaisons primarily as a self-referral, or a referral from principals, teachers, guidance counselors, and parents/caregivers.
  • About half of students sampled, presented educational, family, behavioral, or emotional/mental health issues. Almost half of all youth sampled had issues with anxiety/depression.
  • About a quarter of students sampled were struggling with academic performance, attendance, a single-parent household, coping skills, poverty, or peer issues.
  • Over one-third of students presented with resource deprivation issues.
  • About 1 in 6 students sampled presented with child maltreatment issues.
  • On average, students presented with five different issues overall.
  • Most commonly, liaisons refer students to a school program/resource, a community organization, a mental health agency, or utilize a SCLP resource in response to students’ presenting needs.
  • The program is a critical resource for students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine; there are increased and ongoing needs for SCLP services attributed to the pandemic.

Recommendations for SCLP include improved documentation, data collection, and reporting; further standardized risk assessment, such as Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES); and expanded funding to support additional liaison time and positions to serve the needs of students and their families. The funding levy, which was last passed in 2010, will be up for renewal this November.

About AMHRB: The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County administers the public mental health and addictions service system in Ashland County. The board provides funding and conducts the planning and evaluation activities for services provided primarily by Appleseed Community Mental Health Center, Ashland County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (ACCADA) and Catholic Charities Services of Ashland. The board prioritizes services that 1) are trauma-informed, 2) promote resiliency and recovery and 3) promote a conservative approach to the use of medication using principles of Medication Optimization.

Executive Summary with Logical Model

Full Report


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Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County

1605 CR 1095, Ashland, OH 44805
Office: (419) 281-3139
Fax: (419) 281-4988
Crisis : (419) 289-6111



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