School-Based Health Portfolio Project

This project helps build the skills and capacity of school-based health staff—as well as staff of other youth-serving organizations—to provide high-quality, evidence-based sexual, reproductive, and mental health care to adolescents.

Adolescence is a time of significant brain development. It is also a time when youth are engaging in both health-promoting and health-impeding behaviors, as well as taking risks that impact their physical and mental health.

It is critical that adolescents receive the support and guidance they need to make sound decisions during these formative years. It is also important that they have access to services that address mental health issues that can lead to social isolation, poor school performance, and high-risk behavior in the short term—and limit their options and success in the future.

School-based health centers play a significant role in giving adolescents a space to access support, counseling, information, and resources—especially on topics of mental health and sexual and reproductive health.


CAI is delivering trainings that build the capacity of staff in public high school and middle school-based health centers—including in mental health programs—to provide affirming sexual and reproductive health and mental health education services to adolescent students. The initiative is designed to expand adolescents’ access to comprehensive and high-quality health services and, ultimately, improve their sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

This initiative also trains staff in foster care agencies and teen parenting programs, as well as school nurses and educators.


Data demonstrate that prevention and early intervention around mental health issues can help build adolescents’ resilience and lead to positive long-term outcomes, such as increased rates of high school graduation and community involvement. Studies also show that access to sexual and reproductive health services increases the likelihood that young people use contraception when they are sexually active.

By building the capacity of both clinical and mental health staff within the school environment to provide young people with skilled support, counseling, education, and access to reproductive health services, this project strives to improve overall health outcomes and student success for adolescents.

Leadership and contact

Elisabeth Salner, Project Director:

School-Based Health Trainings

CAI offers the following trainings to school-based health staff—as well as staff of other youth-serving organizations.

Mental health trainings

  • “What’s Going On?” Adolescent Development and Brain Development for Mental Health Providers
  • Fostering Trauma Informed Partnerships in School Settings for Mental Health Providers
  • The Ethics of Self-Care: When Working with Youth Who Endure Trauma

Reproductive health trainings

  • Contraceptive Counseling
  • Pregnancy Options Counseling
  • Adolescent Development
  • Communication Strategies