Increasing populations of students are unprepared for learning due to emotional or behavioral problems. Yet, school-based mental health services are fragmented, marginalized, and underutilized. Despite the federal mandate to improve all student achievement and an increased ability to identify students needing mental health services, school-based mental health services are noticeably absent from school reform initiatives. The research clearly shows family involvement in school-based mental health services is effective in improving student academic performance. By understanding barriers to school-based mental health counseling services and strategies for increasing family enrollment and retention, mental health counselors can help increase students' academic readiness and the integration of mental health services into the structure of the nation's schools.

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