Date of Conferral







Cheryl Tyler-Balkcom


Interprofessional collaboration among school-based and community-based mental health providers in children's mental has been studied in relation to specific providers and as part of program evaluation; however, limited information exists as to how to overcome barriers to collaborative relationships. This study describes the experiences of school and community mental health service providers and those who supervise them. Using phenomenological methodology, three focus-group interview transcripts were analyzed by identifying recurrent themes relevant to the experience of collaboration from school and community providers' perspectives. Although participants viewed aspects of collaboration positively, barriers frequently interfered with collaborative relationships. Support for collaboration from state, district or organization administration was considered necessary for widespread collaboration across settings. To reduce time constraints on existing school staff, school-based professionals suggested it may be necessary to employ additional staff to manage collaborative relationships. Participants' ideas for funding included cutting costs, reducing risks, and grant writing. Jointly developing procedures, increasing accessibility by having services available within the school setting, and collecting outcome data regularly to share with stakeholders were discussed. Understanding the experiences of collaboration among school and community mental health providers has the potential to ignite social change by helping schools and community agencies overcome barriers to collaboration through improved coordination of services for children with unmet mental health needs.