Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI)

The Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) promotes and applies strategies to strengthen student mental health statewide across K-12 educational systems and through institutions of higher education.  This initiative focuses activities on key areas notes below and advances collaboration between educational settings and county services.

Key Elements for SMHI K-University:

  1. Campus-Based Mental Health Programs
    • Mental Health Promotion Programs
    • Peer to Peer Support Activities
    • Suicide Prevention Programs
    • Referral and Linkage
  2. Systems and Policy Development
  3. Training and Technical Assistance
  4. Evaluation

PEI Project Partners:

Regional K-12

California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) have created a clearinghouse of resources and regional best practices that promote the mental health and wellness of students in grades K-8, with linkages to preschool and grades 9-12:

Statewide K-12

California Department of Education‘s student mental health policy workgroup website:

California Community Colleges

California Community Colleges Chancellors’ Office‘s website for student mental health training and technical assistance through CalMHSA:

California State University

California State University Office of the Chancellor. Campuses have individual websites which highlight the campus activities:

University of California

University of California’s website for CalMHSA program resources:

Background Documents:


"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."

— Former US President Bill Clinton

Artwork by: Gary R. Bustin