April 7, 2022
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan are now accepting applications from eligible school districts to implement b.e.s.t.® Universal Screening in the 2022-23 school year.
b.e.s.t.® (Behavioral Emotional Social Traits) is an online screening tool designed to help education professionals build the emotional health of students and help identify students who may need additional positive behavioral support. Developed by School Psychologist Eric P. Hartwig, Ph.D., the tool provides educators recommended actions to take with students based on their behaviors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone's mental health," said Jay Shrader, vice president of community health for the Health System. “Two years later, we now have evidence of poorer mental health in children and know it will be a long road back to 'normal' for everyone. We continue to support the b.e.s.t.® program as a universal solution to support students' health with positive, real-time interventions."
Following the unique and hybrid services provided to children the last couple years, b.e.s.t.® supports the reentry to school environments for children. b.e.s.t.® also provides support for social and emotional learning opportunities, while reinforcing predictable structure and routines for children. b.e.s.t.® continues to include behavioral observations from adults outside of the school such as parents, tutors and family caregivers.
“In the last two years, what is clearly obvious is the continuing importance of reinforcing deliberate and positive relationships with children, while providing the opportunity for them to reflect and balance the impact the last two years has had on their lives." Hartwig said. “Children need access to adults who help and provide guidance to them as they explore and navigate their world, whatever that may be."
Schools awarded a grant receive technical support, biannual screenings for students, and training consultation and support for teachers and staff. School districts eligible to receive the grant are located in one of the following Wisconsin counties: Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Florence, Fond du Lac, Forest, Green Lake, Iron, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, La Crosse, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Oneida, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Richland, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Vilas, Washburn, Waupaca, Waushara or Wood.
For more information or to apply, visit https://www.securityhealth.org/about-us/healthy-minds-best-universal-screening.