Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work

Document Type



This primarily descriptive research study was designed to provide an initial review of the mental health services being offered in the Arkansas public school system by assessing the current delivery of these services and examining certain demographic correlates. The study utilized an established national survey instrument, developed by SAMHSA, which was administered as an email survey to 140 Arkansas schools. The respondents for this study were the Local Education Agencies/Special Education Supervisors in individual school districts. Seventy-eight schools (55%) completed the survey, including 26 elementary schools, 25 junior high schools and 27 high schools. Sixty-two schools (79.5%) identified themselves as rural school districts and 16 schools (20.5%) were identified as urban schools. Eighteen (23.0 %) schools reported operating a school-based mental health clinic, while 60 (77%) had mental health services provided by community providers, but were not identified as having a school-based clinic. Schools identified 12,061students (30.0%) as recipients of mental health services in the schools in the 2007-2008 school year. Several objectives reviewed in this study were: the way mental health services are organized administratively (under the special education department or in a separate department), how staff is organized (hired by district or via contract with the district), where authority rests for various administrative tasks (hiring and supervision of staff), what type of mental health services are being provided, what primary mental health problems are exhibited by children receiving these services, what data the schools are currently collecting, and the mechanisms used by the school to coordinate mental health and educational services between the school and the community. The study found significant results by identifying the following specific needs: services barriers among rural children, specific mental health-related problems reported for boys and girls, unmet service provision for Hispanic children, methodological strategies with respect to specific informants used for data collection, deficiencies in data collection among some schools, and lack of coordination of strategic planning across school districts.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Timothy Page



Included in

Social Work Commons