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Addressing Health Disparities Through School-Based Health Services

Disparities in access to health care exist for students and their families across race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language proficiency, disability status, sexual orientation and other potentially-intersecting categories. Millions of students receive school-based health services; for many of them, schools are their first and only option to receive health care. For instance, at least 70% of students who access mental health services begin doing so in a school-based setting.

This Policy Brief shows how states have enacted policies that promote school-based health centers and community schools to provide equitable access to physical and mental health services for all students.

To learn more:

  • Check out state approaches to address student mental health.
  • Explore our student mental health services ecosystem and funding considerations.
  • Review a helpful glossary of related concepts, which includes approaches that emphasize mental health and wellness in school-based health centers.


Feb. 24, 2023

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