School mental health professionals and outside providers working in schools quickly learn how complicated schools are once they finish their initial training, and also how much more they wish they had learned about making systemic, evidence-informed practice work in the real world of schools in their graduate programs. After 14 years of direct practice work as a school social work and family therapist, Dr. Michael S. Kelly started teaching at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work in 2006. Since that time, he has brought his practice experience and extensive research into school mental health practice to the development of a 15-credit, 99% online post-master’s certificate that seeks to build school-based practitioners into the social-emotional leaders they need to be to address the vital issues affecting schools today. Now into its 5th cohort with school clinicians from multiple disciplines and 11 states, the Loyola School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP) has shown that intensive collaborative professional development is feasible for school mental health professionals, and can enhance their practice and improve their schools. This presentation will detail the history of the SMHAPP as well as current examples of how school clinicians are engaging in systemic practice to change their schools.
Michael S. Kelly PhD, MSW is Lucian and Carol Welch Matusak Professor and Director of the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program Certificate at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work. Prior to coming to Loyola in Fall 2006, he was a school social worker, family therapist, and youth minister in the Chicago area for 14 years. He has written over 80 articles, book chapters, & books on school social work and evidence-based practice (EBP), His most recent books are the forthcoming School Social Work: Research, Practice, and Policy (9th Ed.), and 2017’s Solution-Focused Brief Therapy in Schools: A 360-Degree View of Research and Practice (2nd Ed.), both published by Oxford University Press. He is a fellow of the Oxford Symposium for School-Based Family Counseling, and the Associate Editor of School Mental Health Journal, and the Editor-in-Chief of the new open-access journal International Journal of School Social Work. He has brought his work on school mental health and EBP to researchers and practitioners in Canada, Chile, England, Japan, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. His most recent ventures involve creating advanced training opportunities for school mental health professionals, via the website he co-edits schoolsocialwork.net (SSWN) and the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program he directs, a online15-credit post-master’s certificate that is one of the only advanced training programs of its kind in the United States.
At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
1. Identify three strategies for effectively implementing a full continuum of integrated school mental health approaches across all 3 tiers of the MTSS framework to support students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional success.
2. List three evidence-based practices in school mental health that Loyola SMHAPP students are implementing in their school practices
3. Identify three action steps to meaningfully partner with youth and families in school-based family counseling, drawing on the expertise of the Loyola SMHAPP student cohorts and their school-change projects.