Kooth - An Online Mental Health Resource for Students

Kooth is a leading digital mental health platform that provides accessible counseling and mental health support for high school students. The service has been made available to the District at no cost to students, parents or schools thanks to the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Starting February 21, District high school students will have 24/7 access to us.kooth.com/philasd for help and support with whatever is on their minds – no matter how big or small. This includes peer support, self-help tools, and even counseling sessions with licensed mental health providers. Kooths’ pre-moderation process provides a completely safe online environment.

Please view the resources below for more information.

Mental Health and Behavioral Support

The Office of Prevention and Intervention assists schools with supporting the mental health needs of students. This includes connecting students to appropriate mental and behavioral health supports. In addition the office of Prevention and Intervention partners with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services (DBHIDS), Community Behavioral Health (CBH), behavioral health providers and other community partners for access to behavioral health services.

Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) is a service that is funded through Community Behavioral Health (CBH) that  provides a full range of behavioral health assistance to children and families in the school and/or home and community settings.  The service is provided by an IBHS agency assigned to your child’s school. Similar to School Therapeutic Services (STS) and BHRS Wraparound service, in the school setting IBHS is designed to address the needs of children Pre-K through grade 12 by providing age appropriate, trauma informed, therapeutic interventions to remove barriers to learning. Services  can included individual and group therapy, and one-on-one support as deemed medically necessary.

  • How to access IBHS services for your child: Click Here
  • Find Your Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) Provider: Click Here

Like a physical health crisis, a behavioral health crisis can be an upsetting experience for individuals and families. A behavioral health emergency is defined as an emergent situation in which a person’s actions, feelings, and behaviors can lead to them hurting themselves or others. An individual experiencing a behavioral health crisis is in need of assessment and potential treatment. If the person is an immediate danger to themselves or someone else, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 and let them know you are with someone experiencing a behavioral health crisis.  Otherwise, please follow the districts Behavioral Health Emergencies Procedures which can be found here: SDP Behavioral Health Emergency Procedures  and  SDP BHE Flow Chart

Additional Useful Information

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) offers 24/7 call, text, and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

Phone: 215-685-6440
7 days a week/24 hours per day

  • 24/Hr Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention Service 215-686-4420
  • Red Nacional de Prevenci’on del Suicidio 1-888-628-9454

Unfortunately our students and families can be victims of tragic and sometimes fatal incidents that also deeply impact the school and district community.   The Office of Prevention & Intervention assists with the assessment, response, and recovery process using a trauma-informed approach.   Prevention & Intervention Liaisons supports school leadership, staff, counselors, students, and families in the aftermath of the incident.  Assisting with connecting schools and individuals to resources and determining what additional supports or trainings may beneficial in the future.

ABAApplied Behavior Analysis
ADHDAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADLActivities of Daily Living
AODAlcohol and other Drugs
ASCA American School Counselor Association
ASDAutism Spectrum Disorder
BCBABoard Certified Behavior Analyst
BCMBlended Case Manager
BCMBlended Case Management
BCM Blended Case Management
BHBehavioral Health
BHTBehavioral Health Technician
BIDBest Interest Decision
BPADBipolar Affective Disorder
BPDBorderline Personlaity Disorder
BSCBehavior Specialist Consultant
CBHCommunity Behavioral Health
CBITSCognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools
CBT/TF-CBTCognitive Behavioral Therapy/ Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CCISChild Care Information Services
CCISChild Care Information Services
CCPTChild-Centered (or Client-Centered) Play Therapy
CHIPChildren's Health Insurance Program
CIRTChildren's Interim Response Team
CMCase Manager
CMCTChildren's Mobile Crisis Team
CMISChildren's Mobile Intervention Services
CPP Child Parent Psychotherapy
CPTCognitive Processing Therapy
CRCCrisis Response Center
CTSSClinical Transition and Stabilization Services
CUACommunity Umbrella Organizations
CUACommunity Umbrella Agency
D&ADrug and Alcohol
DBHIDS/DBHDepartment of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services
DBTDialectical behavior therapy
DHSDepartment of Health Services
EBP/EBTEvidence-Based Practices/Evidence-Based Therapy
ECMEnhanced Case Management
EMDREye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
ERPExposure and Response Prevention
ESSAEvery Student Succeeds Act
FBSFamily-Based Services
FFTFunctional Family Therapy
GADGeneralized Anxiety Disorder
HIPAAHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
IBHSIntensive Behavorial Health Services
ICMIntensive Case Manager
ICMIntensive Case Manager
IEPIndividualized education plan
IOPIntensive Outpatient
ISPTInteragency Service Provider Team
ITPIndividual Treatment Plan
LCLead Clinician
LGBTQIA+Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-gender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Ally
LMFT Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
LOCLevel of care
LPCLicensed Professional Counselor
LSCWLicensed Clinical Social Worker
LSWLicensed Social Worker
MAMedical Assistance
MCRTMobile Crises Response team
MDDMajor Depressive Disorder
METMobile Emergency Team
MTMobile Therapist
MTSSMulti-Tiered System of Support
ODDOppositional Defiance Disorder
ODDOppositional Defiant Disorder
OMHSASOffice of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
OPIOffice of Prevention and Intervention
OPT/OPOutpatient Therapist/Outpatient
P&IPrevention & Intervention
PCITParent-Child Interaction Therapy
PEProlonged Exposure
PHPPartial Hospitalization Program
PSCAPennsylvania School Counseling Association
PTSDPost Traumatic Stress Disorder
RADReactive Attachment Disorder
RSRIRapid Service Response Initiative
RTFResidential Treatment Facility
SAPStudent Assistance Program
SBCSchool Behavior Consultant
SIBSelf Injurious Behaviors
SRASuicide Risk Assessment
STEPSupport Team for Educational Partnership
SWSocial Worker
TCMTargeted Case Management
TFTrauma Focused
TITrauma Informed
TICTrauma Informed Care

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

MTSS Guidelines for SIS Behavior Planning

To access Steppers for SIS Behavior Planning please Click Here.

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is part of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) that is an early intervention program to help identify and behavioral health, substance abuse, and addictions issues that affect a student’s and connect them to appropriate treatment.  SAP is a state mandated K-12 program.  Parents, Tier 2/3  teams/SAP teams at schools can be referred for an assessment and students are able to self-refer. However, guardian approval is needed for assessment to occur. All schools are assigned to a specific SAP assessment provider. DBHIDS contracts with  CORA, Einstein, Merakey, and Elwyn to provide SAP assessments across the city of Philadelphia.

Learn More


SAP Assessment Providers  ( Updated list coming soon)

School Counseling

School Counselors in the School District of Philadelphia are committed to the District’s mission of ensuring access and equity for all students. In partnership with the following stakeholders: parents/guardians, business/community organizations and post-secondary institutions, School Counselors connect students with growth opportunities and resources that prepare them for post-secondary success. Every K-12 school counseling program will assist students with the development of social/emotional, academic and career readiness related skills to become effective students, responsible and productive citizens and lifelong learners. School Counselors work to address the needs of all students, aligned with the MTSS process, and provide targeted interventions, services and supports. Parents and students are encouraged to contact their school counselor to discuss any area of concern.

 Director of 504 and Counseling Services: 

Meghan Smith,  measmith@philasd.org |  215-400-5374

STEP - Support Team for Educational Partnership

In 2017, the STEP Program was created in collaboration with  the district, the Mayor’s Office of Education, Community Behavioral Health (CBH), Drexel Community Partners, and Department of Human Services (DHS)  as a new strategy for addressing mental health and complex needs for students and families in the school setting.

STEP  provides mental health, behavioral health and social service support to students and families in select District schools.  Each STEP team has a combination of STEP positions that can include a STEP Clinical Coordinator, a STEP School Behavioral Consultant, a STEP Case Manager and a STEP Family Peer.  This team of mental health professionals can provide therapy, case management, behavior planning and peer support as well as consult on school wide initiatives with a trauma informed lens.  Students and families are wrapped in thoughtful, consistent and culturally responsive services that can and should lead to better outcomes for students in the classroom and in the community.

Additional Information on Support Team for Educational Partnership (STEP)

STEP Director

Tiffany Clarke, LCSW – Email: tclarke@philasd.org Phone: 215-400-5307

STEP Assistant Directors

  • Jennifer Jung, B.S –  jjung@philasd.org; Assistant Director of Operations
  • Julia Brown, LCSW – jabrown@philasd.org; Assistant Director of Clinical Services

STEP Clinical Supervisors:

  • Lisa Coleman, LCSW – lmcoleman@philasd.org
  • Linnea Griffith, LPC – lcartergriffith@philasd.org
  • Wesley Harris, MA, LPC, NCC – wharris@philasd.org
  • Neena Jacob, LCSW – njacob@philasd.org
  • Shawna Price, LCSW – sjprice@philasd.org

504 Service Planning

Section 504 service agreements also known as 504 plans are formal documents that schools develop to give students with disabilities the supports they need. These plans prevent discrimination and protect the rights of students with disabilities in school. Students are covered under the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which is a civil rights law, that protects individuals from discrimination based on disability. Under this law, individuals with disabilities may not be excluded from or denied the opportunity from certain programs.

In the area of education, a section 504 team determines a students eligibility through the process of evaluation and assessment before developing and implementing a plan to meet the needs of the student.

Students with a 504 Plan, along with parents and school officials, document the aids, services, and accommodations afforded to every student to the maximum extent so that they can be educated alongside non-disabled peers. Some of these accommodations include environmental strategies, organizational strategies, behavioral strategies, presentation strategies, evaluation methods, etc.

For more information about how to obtain a 504 plan for your child please contact the school counselor or nurse.

If you have any questions regarding the 504 process, you may contact us using the 504 Inquiry Form or email us at 504information@philasd.org.

Non-Discrimination Notice Updates

The School District of Philadelphia Policy, 103.1 NonDiscrimination-Qualified Students with Disabilities/Protected Handicapped Students. Students with Disabilities. Pursuant to that policy, our Administration has created grievance procedures that provide for the prompt resolution of complaints alleging any prohibited actions under the policy.

The policy outlines the district’s commitment to ensuring all individuals have equal access to education in this district regardless of race, color, age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin or handicap/disability, gender identity, or genetic information. The policy also requires the district to provide academic and nonacademic services and programs equally to students with and without disabilities.

Any student, as well as parents and third parties, who believe that they have been subject to conduct that violates this policy may file a complaint following the administrative procedures. Please immediately report the incident to the District’s Section 504/Chapter 15 by completing the District Complaint Form.

Anyone who receives a verbal complaint should refer the student, parent, or third party to the Section 504/Chapter 15 Coordinator and notify the Section 504/Chapter 15 Coordinator in writing as soon as possible.

Anyone who receives a verbal complaint should refer the student, parent, or third party to the Section 504/Chapter 15 Coordinator and notify the Section 504/Chapter 15 Coordinator in writing as soon as possible.

Section 504/Chapter 15 Contacts:

Trauma-Informed School Practices

Schools are sanctuaries, and function as a place of refuge from danger, threat, injury or fear.

A trauma-informed school is one where staff understand the function of trauma-induced behaviors (self-injury, rage, compulsions, etc.), and do not mistake them as intentional or provocative. Staff use objective, neutral language, as opposed to language that labels (i.e. anxious instead of manipulative). Schools that follow trauma-informed practices recognize what practices can be re-traumatizing to a student. Power and control issues are minimized, and the environment is focused on creating a culture of care and safety with an individualized approach.


Below you will find a list of trainings that The Office of Prevention & Intervention can facilitate for your school.  We routinely review, update trainings and create new trainings to address current student, staff, and school needs.  Please complete the following form to request  training.  There is also a space to request trainings on additional topics.

  • Trauma Essentials Training (Trauma 101): Asynchronous
  • 504 Service Planning
  • Adult Wellness
  • Behavior As Communication
  • De-escalation Strategies
  • Foundations of MTSS Tiers 2/3: Teams & Structures
  • Overview of Tier 2 interventions
  • Pathway to Intensive Behavior Health Services (IBHS)
  • Student Assistance Program (SAP) Training- SDP schools only
  • Supporting Students through Pandemic: School Transition Concerns: What Should I Do?
  • The Cost of Caring- Compassion Fatigue and Burnout
  • Understanding Childhood Trauma and Implementing Trauma-informed School Practice
  • What is Intensive Behavioral Health Services?
  • Yourself?! Learning Your Stressors and Learning to Cope Utilizing a Support Plan