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Pasadena Unified Launches Online Tool as Part of Groundbreaking Mental Health Policy

For Immediate Release:

February 23, 2018

Pasadena Unified Launches Online Tool that Links Students to Support Network

Referral Form Supports PUSD’s Groundbreaking Mental Health Policy

Pasadena, CA -- Because each of us has the power to make a difference in the health, wellness, and success of children in public schools, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) is launching an online referral system that gets children who are struggling in school the support they need quickly and effectively. Teachers, parents, school employees, and community members can use the system to refer students for professional support and services for attendance, health, academic support, bullying, and enrollment.  The new online system is part of the implementation of PUSD’s groundbreaking mental health policy adopted in 2017 that takes a whole-district approach to promoting mental health and supporting student resilience and academic success.

“The referral system makes the most of our resources to ensure that students get the tailored support they need to overcome barriers to learning,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “The system links students with the help they need to be healthy in mind and body.”

The School Support Services Referral form is available at and links students to PUSD’s organized network of support services, including afterschool programs,  bullying prevention, counseling, health, foster youth support, school enrollment, and more.
Referrals are confidential and managed by staff from the district’s School Support Services division.

PUSD’s Mental Health policy, the first of its kind in California, aims to increase awareness of mental health issues impacting students, alert staff to early warning signs and symptoms, and guide training, planning, and response. Teachers and school administrators have been trained in Trauma Informed Care, an approach that recognizes the signs and symptoms of traumatic stress in students and responds by addressing the root causes of student behavior. The policy was developed in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Trauma in Schools.

“It’s incredibly encouraging to see forward-thinking districts like Pasadena Unified School District moving to implement a range of programming and initiatives to support students exposed to trauma and the educators working with them,” said Bradley Stein, a senior physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, and a national expert in school mental health. “Putting such holistic approaches in place increases the likelihood of traumatized students achieving academically. We are extremely impressed with this district-wide policy and we look forward to continuing to collaborate in supporting these initiatives.”

The School Support Services Referral Form connects students to a network of services and programs including:

  • After-School Programs
  • Bullying/Cyber Bullying
  • Counseling/Mentoring
  • Domestic Violence Intervention
  • Family Support
  • Foster Youth Support
  • Health Insurance Assistance
  • Health Services
  • Homeless Support
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • School Enrollment/Transcripts
  • School Attendance (SART/SARB)
  • Substance Abuse
  • Teen/Youth Programs

For more information on PUSD’s services, visit
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