How Are Students With Anxiety and Depression Identified?
The aim of the district’s Student Well-Being Strategic Initiative is to support students that are struggling with physical and mental health to promote personal and academic growth. As a part of this initiative, the district uses multiple approaches to achieve these goals. These include universal screens for social-emotional and mental health functioning. The SEL screening using the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) and Panorama screen for social-emotional skills assessments and the Behavior Intervention Monitoring and Assessment System 2 (BIMAS2) for mental health screening.
The Bellevue School District currently provides universal mental health screening for students in grades 7 through 11. The screener is provided in an opt-out manner where notification is provided to parents/guardians in advance of the screener being provided. Parents/guardians can choose to opt their student out of the process by returning the Opt-Out Form. The screener is also voluntary for students to take, and they can opt-out at any point.
The district uses the Behavior Intervention Monitoring and Assessment System 2 (BIMAS2) to screen students. For 7th through 11th grade students, the screening team uses the Self-Report form of the BIMAS2. The BIMAS2 consists of 34 questions that break into 5 scales: Conduct, Negative Affect, Cognitive Attention, Social, and Academic Functioning. The Negative Affect scale is a specific focus for screening for anxiety and depression. Additionally, the screening team examines question number 24 which asks students about thoughts of self-harm. Members of the Mental Health Assistance Team (MHAT) and School Counselors follow up with students that report thoughts of self-harm and feelings of anxiety and depression. Students with concerning scores are frequently offered counseling services from the MHAT Counselors or are referred to outside community mental health agencies.
Mental Health Assistance Team Counselors are counselors that provide direct short-term counseling services to students identified through the screening process.