The community mental health professional serves as a supplemental mental health service provider and consultant to the school. His or her role is to support, not supplant, the mental health services that are provided by the school counselor, school psychologist, and school social worker. She or he helps set the tone for recovery, conveying concern and support for all recovery efforts, with an eye to reducing or eliminating stigma for students who seek additional services and care. The community mental health professional also helps the school site administrator recognize and plan for intermediate and long-term services for staff and may play a primary role in responding to unforeseen crises that arise during successive phases of recovery.
The most effective mental health providers are those who are carefully screened for experience and training in child trauma treatment. This experience may include special certification for working with students, licensure in a related area, or evidence of special child trauma treatment coursework.