EAST LANSING, Mich. — A series of courses developed by Michigan State University and Michigan State Police, or MSP, are aiming to promote school safety and address mental health.
Working with MSP’s Grants and Community Services Division, John Carlson, professor of school psychology in MSU’s College of Education and School Psychology doctoral program, designed the six-class series focused on mental health intervention and relationship-building, according to MSU Thursday.
These courses are free to professionals and include the following subjects:
- Promoting a safe and supportive school climate
- Teaming and collaborative data-based problem solving
- Early identification of mental health challenges
- Mental health interventions and care coordination
- Working with diverse populations
- Self-care and wellness
“We know schools must work with their community partners to develop procedures to identify which kids may need more help and support,” Carlson said. “Mental health supports, inclusive of the unique needs of the population being served, must be made available to help keep our schools safe for all.”
Carlson, Michigan State Police department analyst Beth Beattie, and other team members created the classes using their own literature and other sources.
Funding for the project came through grants from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, according to MSU.
Once the courses were developed, Carlson and his team chose Michigan Virtual, a nonprofit that provides online education courses for students and professional development for educators, to make the series widely accessible. officials said.
“The modules begin with building relationships and follow with school structures and what SROs can expect on the job,” Beattie said. “The modules educate SROs on how to talk to kids not as criminals, but as a partner in their development.”
Launched in September, the course was met with almost 500 enrollments within 30 days, according to MSU.
More information about this course module can be found online.