School-aged youth have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of the pandemic will likely have long-standing effects on the well-being of youth, and access to mental health care is even more critical during this time. For the past 5 years, TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) has been working throughout the state to increase utilization of evidence-based mental health practices among K-12 school mental health professionals (SMHPs). By leveraging SMHPs who are widely accessible to students, TRAILS seeks to improve youth access to effective mental health care and reduce current mental health inequities. In March 2020, TRAILS responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a group manual designed to be delivered virtually by SMHPs to help students develop effective coping skills to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. TRAILS focuses on promoting use of CBT and mindfulness, as these skills are ideally suited for school-based delivery, and thus the new manual, Coping with COVID-19 (CC-19), was grounded in these modalities.
This paper describes the design, development, and deployment of the CC-19 curriculum to address the mental health needs of students in the context of the pandemic. Also discussed is early acceptability and penetration data showing that school professionals utilizing CC-19 have reached hundreds of students.
Read the paper here.