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Indiana School Mental Health Initiative

Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University

  • Where is the best place to improve the social, emotional, and mental health of as many people as we possibly could? Answer: Our schools.
  • Stressed brains do not learn the same as brains that feel safe, feel connection, and can manage emotions.
  • Resilient school staff and students lead to resilient and thriving families, and communities.
  • About ISMHI

Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., ISMHI Director
Kristy Eaton, Ed.D., M.S.W, L.C.S.W., ISMHI Assistant Director
(812) 855-6508

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Home » Schools

About School Mental Health

Growth, learning and development in all domains happen in many environments and, for most of the population, in schools. Fostering mental health in schools leads to an environment that supports [...]

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) refers to a set of traumatic experiences that many people face in childhood. This trauma can impact how children perform in the classroom as well as have lif [...]

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The number of students diagnosed with ADHD continues to rise each year. As a mental health initiative we believe it is important to take a holistic approach to treating and understanding ADHD an [...]

Brain-Aligned Strategies

Brain-aligned strategies are meant to address the three domains of compassionate schools that promote the social, emotional, and mental health of our students, move us towards prevention, and ar [...]

Bullying Prevention

Bullying is both an outcome and a cause directly related to student’s social, emotional, and mental health. Let’s move towards prevention.

Educational Neuroscience

Refers to the general field of academic and scientific study of how the brain learns. Within this discipline we understand how stress affects the brain’s ability to process information and how [...]


Resiliency is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant stress. It is the counterbalance of trauma. Resilient school staff and students lead [...]

School Health Assessment & Performance Evaluation System (SHAPE)

SHAPE is a free, web-based, interactive system designed to integrate students’ social, emotional, and mental health supports into existing school quality improvement plans, initiatives, and fr [...]

School Safety & Crisis Response

While addressing school safety must include building security and training teachers, staff and students, we must pay attention to the effects this current environment has on our students’ soci [...]

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive go [...]

Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Schools

This topic page is designed to help schools meet the requirements of legislation (SEA 230) that was recently passed pertaining to suicide awareness, prevention, and training in our schools and t [...]

Teaching Students About Their Brains

Teaching students about their own neuro-anatomy empowers them, gives them insight into their own stress responses, and enhances the use of other brain-aligned strategies.  This topic page provi [...]

Trauma, Stress, and Learning

For students, trauma is when a stressful event(s) has overwhelmed and compromised their health and welfare, including their ability to self-regulate and learn due to the fact that the stress loa [...]


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