National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care – SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) “best practices toolkit” provides stakeholders with information regarding national guidelines for crisis care. To advance effective crisis systems, the document provides guidance for program design, development, implementation and continuous improvement efforts.

Learn more here.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI advocates for a variety of policies that promote health and wellbeing for individuals living with mental illness. The organization fights to establish availability and access to the best care possible, diversion away from the criminal justice system, successful involvement in the community and effective interventions that help instead of worsen mental illness. 

Visit their website here.


For each category we focus our policy recommendations on, we have a few goals. You can click on each heading below to see our recommendations filtered by topic.

Trauma-informed practices

Teach social emotional learning in schools

Create safe and warm school environments

Access to low cost, high-quality mental health treatment

Reduce stigma and increase knowledge of mental health and wellness

Funding for counselors, social workers, and mental health support in schools

Responsible media reporting on mass shootings

Hold (social) media companies accountable

Anonymous reporting

Teach media literacy

Limit active shooter drills for children

Situational crime prevention

Common sense firearms legislation

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model

The WSCC model focuses on ten components which include physical education/activity, nutrition environment and services, health education, social/emotional climate, physical environment, health services, counseling/psychological/social services, employee wellness, community involvement, and family engagement. The WSCC model addresses the need to engage students as active participants in their learning and health.

You can learn more about the policy here.

S.1177 – Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) supports Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). This policy broadens the definition of student success by becoming more flexible, encourages schools to establish learning environments and enhance students’ effective learning skills, upholds critical protections for disadvantaged and high-need students, and broadens the approach to professional development and learning.

Read a summary of the act here.

Read the full bill here.