This webinar discussed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the implementation of school-based behavioral health programs. Ron Manderscheid provided a presentation about the overall trends in health care reform and the implications for behavioral health. He also discussed the importance of rural schools as a major setting for behavioral health care and explored key planning and implementation strategies that communities can explore for financing these critical prevention and treatment services for children, youth, and young adults. Features of the ACA were discussed as well as considerations for providers working with children (ages birth to 24) and families in rural communities.
Terry Lawler shared examples of infrastructure, partnership, system integration with promotion, prevention and treatment, and funding of mental and behavioral health in schools and community settings. This will include a discussion of an approach to create collaborative teams of school staff and community providers that are essential to coordinating and integrating mental, emotional, and behavioral health. She identified key elements necessary for communities to build infrastructure that support coordination among providers and finance sources for prevention. Terry also discussed an approach used in accessing and maximizing funding for child behavioral health that can support your community as you manage reform with the ACA. Lastly, she discussed potential implications for strengthening this work in rural schools through the ACA, illustrating examples of how their successful management of funding changes, such as a reduction of TANF dollars.