School programs provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) were reviewed to describe program characteristics, costs, and ratings of research and dissemination.
Data were gathered from the NREPP to identify mental health programs adaptable for schools. Program costs and quality and dissemination ratings were examined as a function of program characteristics.
School mental health programs constituted 32% of the registry, with 44% providing only materials at cost and 46% providing universal mental health promotion rather than intensive supports. Readiness for dissemination was poorer for programs providing only intensive supports, and quality of research increased as total costs of program implementation increased.
Mechanisms for tracking mental health promotion and treatment can be effective in disseminating information about evidence-based school programming. Assessing program transportability is necessary for decision making to match programs with the needs of particular schools and communities.