Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

First Advisor

Dr. Emily Graybill, Ph.D, NCSP

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Barger, Ph.D


INTRODUCTION: In the United States, one in five children will experience a mental or behavioral health disorder in their lifetime. Of these children, only approximately half receive mental health services and support (Moon, Williford, & Mendenhall, 2017). School-based behavioral health services are identified as one way to increase access to behavioral health services, particularly for youth in rural areas where services are sparse (Moon et al., 2017).

AIM: The purpose of this evaluation is to examine the effectiveness of a school-based behavioral health initiative designed to improve behavioral health outcomes among school-aged children living in three rural counties.

METHODS: This report describes a mixed method evaluation consisting of satisfaction surveys (e.g., from referral personnel/consortia members), behavioral health questionnaires from students, and pre-post knowledge quizzes and qualitative interviews from staff who received training on youth mental health. Therapeutic treatment fidelity was measured using a treatment fidelity checklist completed by school-based mental health therapists after each therapy session.

RESULTS: The evaluation data are presented in both narrative and infographic formats. The report concludes with a description of the implications for public health and recommendations for the organization implementing the program