Is There a Mental Health Professional in the House?

Volume 44 Issue 1

By John E. Desrochers

The new school year is just beginning for most of us, and Communiqué is here to provide the information we need to stay up to date with the latest developments in our field. Just because school was out for summer doesn't mean that school psychology stood still. There were some important developments in our profession that you will be able to read about in this issue.

NASP recently released a white paper titled "School Psychologists: Qualified Health Professionals Providing Child and Adolescent Mental and Behavioral Health Services." The paper, which I hope receives wide dissemination among administrators, parents, and other stakeholders, may be found in its entirety starting on page 1 and can be downloaded from the NASP website in an attractive format that would be ideal for distribution. This paper is a powerful statement about the role of school psychologists in mental health that should be useful in advocating that students receive all the services they need to be successful in school (and in life). And in another confirmation of our role as mental and behavioral health service providers, the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology recently recognized the NCSP credential as a mechanism for identifying qualified school psychologists to consumers. Listing on the National Register still requires postdoctoral training and credentialing, but endorsement of the NCSP alongside of credentials offered by such organizations as the American Board of Professional Psychology and the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology strengthens school psychology's position as a health service. See two articles about this in the NASP News section.

Please also take a look at Todd Savage's first President's Message and get to know about him and what he hopes to accomplish this year. Most of you know that mental health is one of NASP's key initiatives, and you will see that his presidential theme,School Climate: #ConnectTheDots, very much supports this initiative. Expect to see more about this theme in Communiquéand at the NASP 2016 Annual Convention, which, by the way, is in New Orleans this year. Coverage of the convention begins on page 28 and will continue throughout the year.

As for what Communiqué has planned for this year, look for more articles on the DSM-5, mental health, social justice, and communication and collaboration with stakeholders. In this issue, the "You Be the Judge" series on legal issues in school psychology and the Gender and School Psychology series continue with informative articles in both areas. There are also articles on ESEA reauthorization, making special education documents more parent-friendly, adapting evidence-based interventions to the needs of local schools, participating in School Psychology Awareness Week, creating report templates, apps for behavior management, using a strength-based approach to the journey through graduate school, and the announcement of an opening for editorship of School Psychology Forum. Finally, on a sad note, we mourn the passing of our colleague, Tom Oakland.

I wish you all a great start to a rewarding and successful school year.

-John E. Desrochers