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The Alliance Health School-Based Team (SBT), a collaboration among Alliance, WakeMed Mental Health & Well-Being, and Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), recently received the 2023 Innovation Award from the i2i Center for Integrative Health for the services they provide to Wake County youth.

The SBT identifies and connects qualifying WCPSS students to behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) services. In addition, the team supports families with whole-person care when a young person is in crisis. If inpatient treatment is necessary, the team members collaborate with the school, family and treatment providers to support a successful transition back to the community and school. WakeMed has welcomed SBT liaisons on site, embedded alongside their team and resulting in real-time, system-of-care support for families and children during crises.

This process has been used as a guide across North Carolina to support school-based mental health policy and legislation directing managed care organizations and public school systems to focus on crisis transitions. The team has made presentations on its model to the North Carolina General Assembly Safe Schools Special Committee and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The School-Based Team served 632 children during the 2021-22 school year. This includes 276 in the crisis program, 93% of whom were linked to needed treatment. SBT partners attended more than 200 family team meetings to support transitions, and 100% of WCPSS students returned to school within 10 business days after discharge from a psychiatric residential treatment facility.