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HSE Project Connect: Threat Assessment, Crisis Response, and Multi-Tiered Mental Health Supports.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $407,695)


Project Connect:  Threat Assessment, Crisis Response and Multi-Tiered System of Mental Health Supports


Hamilton Southeastern School District is located in Fishers, Indiana, a growing suburb of Indianapolis and the 4thlargest district in the state of Indiana.  Currently, there is not a consistent process in place for evaluating threats of harm to others.  District data suggest internalizing behavioral issues associated with depression, suicidal ideation, and low levels of behaviors along the aggression/violence continuum are prevalent and often result in exclusionary discipline practices that are disproportionately impacting students of color.  While current reactionary practices contribute to increasing sense of alienation and disconnection of students, they are not the sole contributing factors.  The goal of the project is to embed strategies that will mitigate the risk of violence and aggression within our schools and build capacity within our staff to intervene early in the trajectory of violence, aggression, and mental health challenges.  Given this background, the goals of the proposed project include: 1) increase the capacity of school personnel to assess, respond to, and support students who make violent threats (using threat assessment and mental health training; 2) increase collaboration with school mental health, school safety personnel and Fishers PD and Fire Department; 3) prevent risk by enhancing skill development in both staff (Mental Health First Aid training) and students (restorative practices); and prepare for crises through strong preventative structures and responsive systems of support (NASP PREPaRE Crisis Response and Culturally-Responsive PBIS).  The Behavioral Threat Assessment and Monitoring (BTAM) process will be integrated into a tiered model of support.  Staff will be trained in this comprehensive threat assessment process to identify students who pose threats to develop an intervention and monitoring plan that aligns with building-level tiered supports.  Strategies to enhance the relationship with our community partners (Fishers PD, Fishers FD, community mental health) will be enhanced to assist and support our most at-risk students more effectively and an anonymous tip line will also be expanded to respond to students in crises.  By implementing CR-SWPBIS systems consistently across the district, staff will develop culturally responsive practices that foster sustainable systems of supports and will serve as a framework for both prevention and intervention.   This framework will reduce risk of aggression and self-harm by improving sense of belonging, building positive coping skills, and increasing awareness of early signs of mental health challenges.






Date Created: December 22, 2021