NH's Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavioral Health & Wellness (MTSS-B)
Part of the larger children’s system of care in NH, MTSS-B is a comprehensive system of social, emotional, and behavioral supports to promote student wellness and improve engagement in learning. MTSS-B’s integrated delivery system depends on intentional collaboration between school districts and their community mental health and youth/family-serving partners. Based on the Interconnected Systems Framework, MTSS-B blends research-based school mental health practices and social-emotional learning with a tiered prevention framework that offers schoolwide social-emotional and behavioral programs at the universal level (Tier 1), targeted supports for at-risk students (Tier 2), and intensive, individualized services for the highest-need students (Tier 3).
The New Hampshire MTSS-B Technical Assistance Center is a partnership between the Office of Social and Emotional Wellness (OSEW) at the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Bureau of Student Wellness & Nutrition and the Behavioral Health Improvement Institute (BHII) at Keene State College. OSEW provides opportunities for technical assistance, professional development, and training, and facilitates access to state and federal funding in support of student social and emotional wellness.
OSEW and the NH MTSS-B TA Center have supported approximately 37 school districts throughout New Hampshire through various grant funding streams and/or direct MTSS-B coaching services since 2013. In addition to providing ongoing MTSS-B coaching to the majority of those districts, currently OSEW and partners at the Children’s Bureau for Behavioral Health at the NH Department of Health and Human Services are collaborating to introduce four Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) into an integrated MTSS-B pilot – as part of the children’s system of care – across seven school districts.
The IOD team has adopted the Multi-Tiered System of Support framework (MTSS-B) and Integrated Systems Framework (ISF) consistent with NH’s current model (https://iod.unh.edu/multi-tiered-system-support-mtss). In 2021-2022, the IOD staff provided over 350 hours of training and coaching to schools in 5 NH districts and hosted a 9-session virtual training on Tier 2 supports and services for 6 school teams. The IOD MTSS-B coaches actively work to connect the schools to community mental health providers, consistent with the ISF. This includes co-training schools and mental providers in the MTSS-B framework, coaching Tier 1, 2 and 3 MTSS-B teams to include mental health staff, and assisting the teams to use school level and screening data to match interventions to meet the needs of students. The IOD staff coach and train schools to implement the highly researched Check In Check Out model, social-emotional learning strategies, restorative practices, Coping Cat, and individualized functional behavioral analysis and trauma-informed positive behavior support. The IOD staff also have specific expertise working with youth with autism.