Current Events / Initiatives

Thriving Minds: Building Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems

Supporting students’ mental health is critical to ensuring that they can learn and thrive. For many young people, the isolation, uncertainty, and trauma of the past year have bred anxiety and depression, with potentially long-lasting effects on their success in school and beyond. Schools must respond to this need by providing thoughtful and effective mental health supports. Offering timely interventions is only one part of the solution, though—investing in a range of isolated initiatives won’t lead to schoolwide structures that address student mental health in meaningful, consistent ways. Instead, schools should seek to build comprehensive mental health systems that allow them to support the wellbeing of all students, now and in the future.

The Rennie Center, the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium, and BRYT (Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition) have teamed up with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on a new initiative, Thriving Minds. Through a series of learning opportunities, educators will receive guidance and support on building comprehensive school mental health systems that address the holistic needs of their students.

The foundation for these learning opportunities will be a series of professional development workshops on the fundamental components of a comprehensive school mental health system—such as data, interventions, and infrastructure—all presented with a racial equity lens. School teams wishing to go deeper will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing learning cohorts with peers engaged in similar work. And for teams with a plan to advance toward a comprehensive school mental health system, we will offer mini-grants to support implementation and shared learning.

Please visit the Thriving Minds landing page for more info on upcoming trainings.

Massachusetts Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems: 2021-2022 Collaborative Improvement & Innovation Network (CoIIN)

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in partnership with the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium (MASMHC) is pleased to again offer the opportunity for district teams to engage in a learning collaborative. This 2021-2022 school year opportunity is facilitated by the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH). The focus is on establishing comprehensive school mental health systems in Massachusetts and in other participating states. State team members include representatives from parent and youth leadership organizations (CPLAN and PPAL/YouthMove), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Children & Families (DCF), and MassHealth.

Please visit the MA State CoIIN landing page for more info.

Previous Events

Western Mass Eastern Mass State-Wide Convening
October 2nd: 11am-2pm
September 19th: 11am-1pm
June 9th: 10am-3pm CANCELED

November 15th: 12pm-2pm

Location: Chicopee High School,

820 Front St, Chicopee, MA 01020

October 29, 2020

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Valley Collaborative,

25 Linnell Circle Billerica, MA 01821

May 28, 2020

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Location: Zoom Meeting

Registration Link for May 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Registration Link for May 28 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

January 10th: 12pm-2pm

Location: Gardner Middle School,

Library Meeting Space,

297 Catherine St, Gardner, MA 01440

December 5th: 12pm-2pm
February 7th: 12pm-2pm
January 30th: 12pm-2pm

March 13th: CANCELED

February 27th: 12pm-2pm

May 1st: 12pm-2pm CANCELED

March 23rd: CANCELED
April 14th: 12pm-2pm CANCELED

Western Mass Location

Meeting Location – Chicopee High School Auditorium – 820 Front St, Chicopee, MA 01020

Parking – In the back parking lot of Chicopee High School.

Entrance into the Building – Use Door D located on the community wing of the building.

Eastern Mass Location

Meeting Location – Merrimack College, Cascia Hall (next to Lot H and the Sakowich Campus Center)
Parking – Parking is available in lots C, E, F, J, and M (essentially all visitor lots). In speaking to Christine, please just avoid parking in reserved staff/student spots and you should be all set. It is strongly recommended that you carpool if at all possible.