April 15, 2018

This project will rigorously evaluate the effects of Minnesota's School-Linked Mental Health program on academic outcomes, mental health services outcomes, and juvenile justice outcomes, for children and adolescents. This program has expanded progressively across Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and more recently the state, as a way to reduce barriers to identifying and treating mental health problems in school-age youth. We will take advantage of the staggered implementation of school-linked mental health services across schools between 2004-2016 to estimate difference-in-differences models that will isolate the causal effect of the program on the outcomes we have identified. We will use the linked administrative data files from the Minn-LInk project to estimate these models. We are partnering with the director of school mental health for Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Schools on this project. The results will inform public investment decisions in school-based mental health services both in Minnesota and nationwide.