School Based Behavioral Health Screening Initiative (SBBHSI)

Published: 3/3/2016 1:23 PM

This page contains information regarding the School-Based Behavioral Health Screening Initiative (SBBHSI), a joint effort between the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health (DBH) at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to assist school-based staff in identifying students who may be affected by mental health challenges or substance use disorders.

Behavioral Health
“Behavioral health” is a term that encompasses both mental health and substance use. It is sometimes difficult to determine whether a young person is experiencing a mental health challenge or going through normal changes because young people are changing so rapidly.  For school age students, concerns with behavioral health can present as poor academic performance, tardiness, absenteeism, and other unusual or extreme extroverted or introverted behaviors. Statistics reveal that 20 – 25% of adolescents will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder before age 18.   Recognizing and responding to students who may be experiencing behavioral health concerns is invaluable.  With appropriate interventions and supports, students with behavioral health challenges can continue toward a successful future that includes becoming prepared for college and career.  
The Screener
The Global Appraisal of Individual Needs Short Screener (GAIN-SS) is designed to quickly and accurately identify students who would be identified as having one or more behavioral health disorders. 

SBBSHI Objectives
This screening will help schools identify risk factors and barriers to learning associated with behavioral health challenges, which are known to reduce the likelihood of student success in school.
The objectives of the initiative are:
  1. To assist school-based staff in identifying students who may be dealing with behavioral health challenges;
  2. To provide access to a low-cost/easy-to-administer screening tool and associated training; and ultimately,
  3. To screen students for behavioral health challenges and refer them for additional assessment and services, if needed.
Demonstration Districts and Expansion of the Initiative
School-based behavioral health screenings were successfully piloted in six demonstration districts (Campbell, Christian, Livingston, Perry, Shelby, and Whitley) during the spring of 2014 and are currently being brought to additional districts during the expansion phase of the project.  For more information, please contact Diane Gruen-Kidd at
SBBHSI Training Videos

Informational Webinar PowerPoint

Informational Webinar Recording Video Link

Using the GAIN Short Screener Video Link
Sammie Lambert
Office of Teaching and Learning
Division of Learning Services
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4970
Fax (502) 564-6470