Topics and Learning Objectives

2020 Theme: Creating Equitable Access to School Mental Health Services

General learning objectives of the GW/NASP Public Policy Institute include:

• Learn about how public policies are made and the changing federal role in education
• Examine how policies and practices affect students who face complex barriers to learning
• Examine how schools/districts are creating policies and practices that improve engagement and learning for diverse students
• Learn how to develop advocacy campaigns which can influence legislation, administrative policy, and professional practices
• Develop personal or organizational plans to promote advocacy agendas
• Engage with national leaders and experience firsthand how legislation is created and advanced on Capitol Hill
• Examine how school psychologists, administrators, teachers, counselors and other stakeholders can more effectively collaborate to provide comprehensive student learning supports.

Some of the critical questions that will be explored as part of this year's PPI theme include:

• What are the barriers to accessing mental health services in schools?
• What factors contribute to disparities in access? Where disparities exist, what policies and practices help improve access?
• What policies and practices improve collaboration between school and community mental health professionals?
• How does improving access to school mental health services impact positive outcomes for students?
• How can grassroots advocates help shape a system that ensure that students in need have access to high quality mental health services in schools and communities?

The 2020 Public Policy Institute will focus on:

• Identifying and critically examining the components of comprehensive school mental health services
• Exploring the systemic and political factors that limit equitable access to school mental health services
• Identifying policies and strategies that help increase access to school mental health services