Better Behavioral Health Outcomes

Project summary

Our youth are experiencing a uniquely challenging behavioral health crisis, and it’s compounded by a workforce crisis and recovery from a global pandemic, compelling us to be fiercely creative and pragmatic with the resources we can bring to bear. Using an innovative school- and primary care-based model, this project rallies and prepares the broader education and healthcare workforces to better support the front lines of behavioral healthcare.  As a multi-discipline project, with leadership from the Department of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Population Health and coordination and input from state and community organizations, the goal of Better Behavioral Health Outcomes is to launch prevention, treatment, and recovery programs specific to school and primary care settings. 

Highlights of the work include:

  • Broadening screening for behavioral health and social determinants of health concerns so all children at their Dartmouth Health pediatric well visits are screened and, if necessary, given treatment options, referred, and supported
  • Increasing clinician capacity to support schools with youth behavioral health needs as well as increasing clinician capacity to integrate youth behavioral health support into pediatric primary care
  • Supporting school-based programs, including a tier 1 social-emotional skills curriculum (Miss Kendra) in elementary schools; group and individual behavioral health interventions in middle and high school for at-risk students; peer mentoring in high schools
  • Piloting digital applications to support students with mild/moderate anxiety/depression and to support families with youth with anxiety/depression
  • Providing professional staff training, consultation, and mentorship to support all programs

Contact Project Director Holly Gaspar, Holly Gaspar, MEd, MPH by email ( for more information.