I am a children’s mental health advocate as well as being a clinician and consultant. As an advocate, I have found that efforts of advocacy groups are not always successful, and that many children and adolescents do not receive the help to which they are entitled. Dan Stewart, supervising attorney at the Minnesota Disability Law Center and I compiled an overview of successful class action lawsuits that brought services to thousands of children and adolescents who otherwise would have gone unserved. The presentation provides information on the entitlement of EPSDT (Early, Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment) for youth on Medicaid: When Advocacy Isn’t Enough – Successful Mental Health Class Action Lawsuits.
In my consulting work with school districts around the country, I have found that many teachers and administrators do not fully understand how to handle mental health data in student school files. With increasing frequency, school districts are required to address complex issues that arise out of the mental health needs of students. In addressing these issues, school districts are faced with challenges related to gathering, receiving, maintaining, and disclosing mental health data on students. How to handle data that is sent to the school (e.g., mental health diagnostic and/or treatment records) and data that is generated by the school staff (e.g. counseling or school social work records) requires an accurate understanding of FERPA, HIPAA, and applicable state laws will help school districts avoid costly mistakes that could lead to litigation and liability. Michael Waldspurger, J.D. and I wrote this article as a resource to school districts.
How to Handle Mental Health Data In School Files
Dr. William Dikel is a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who provides a wide variety of psychiatric consultation services. He is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and provides consultation state-wide and nationally.