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Building a System to Promote Mental Health and Boost Learning

Case Study: How a school in Hawaii worked to prioritize student mental health

Student mental health is strongly linked to academic success. Knowing this, staff at Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School found a way to focus on mental health promotion and early intervention at their school.

Located along the rural central coast of the island of Hawaii, Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School is an important education and health hub for the Native Hawaiian community it serves.

It is the only school in a district spanning 140 square miles, where 70 percent of the student population is economically disadvantaged.

Using a small grant from Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools, staff sought to build a multipronged wellness system with a strong emphasis on mental health.

They added a data system to screen students for health indicators, such as absenteeism, poor test scores, and low family support, that are associated with higher risk for behavioral problems or poor future academic success. Also, they opened the new Kipuka Health and Wellness Room, open to school students and staff, as well as the larger community.

These and other changes brought a highly positive response from school staff, parents and families.

The Thriving Schools Action Plan Grant Program supports schools to create healthy school environments for students and staff.

Find other takeaways from the experience and read the full case study.

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