School Mental Health Project

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The Fine Art of Fishing:
Becoming Your Own T.A. Center

Sometimes, what we pull out may not be "the right catch" and you will want to do a bit of fishing for yourself. Also, since it takes a bit of time for technical assistance centers (even ours) to respond, it often is quicker to do-it-yourself. This self-help guide outlines easy-to-access resources we find helpful. (If you know of other good ways, please let us know).

Many resources can be accessed quickly through the Internet. If you are not personally connected to the Internet, hopefully you have access through your work site, local libraries, or a friend.

Click here to Search our Center's Databases for special materials, consultation cadre members, organizations, and internet sites

I. Information and Materials for Practitioners, Consumers, Program Developers, and Those Concerned with Staff Development

Fact sheets
Information booklets
Intervention approaches
Client-friendly materials for youngsters, parents, school staff
Program descriptions
Topical overviews
Reports, statistics, & other updated information

We start close to home:

Quick finds. Offers a fast way to access Center technical information and resources. Click on Quick Find. There are over 130 topics. Find one that is relevant to your search and go to it. From there, you can link to a variety of Center-developed materials and to online resources from other sources.

Gateway to Links. the Gateway Sites page ( provides a listing of major agency websites that offer access to other information and support relevant to the topics of mental health in schools and addressing barriers to student learning. We've also identified other Centers that provide free technical assistance.

Center-based Search engines. Through our search engines you can either search our website or search our Center's databases for clearinghouse documents, consultation cadre members, and list of other organizations and websites. Reached at:

Next comes internet searches:

For example:

  • Google (
    which offers both scholarly article and other resource searches

    Internet Web site:

    MedlinePlus is a goldmine of good health information from the world's largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine. Health professionals and consumers alike can depend on it for information that is authoritative and up to date. MedlinePlus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 650 diseases and conditions. There are also lists of hospitals and physicians, a medical encyclopedia and a medical dictionary, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials.

    U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences Address: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

    555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20208-5500
    Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN
    Fax: 202-401-0689
    Internet Web site:

    The Institute of Education Sciences replaced the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in 2002. The Institute consists of the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. It also has the archives of information from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

    Professional associations. For example:

    National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
    Address: 4340 East-West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814
    Phone: 301/657-0270
    Fax: 301/657-0275
    Internet Web site:

    This association publishes books, pamphlets, fact sheets, and CD-ROMS related to mental health in school settings.

    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
    Address: 3615 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC
    Phone: 202/966-7300
    Fax: 202/966-2891
    Internet Web site:

    Offers varied materials addressing mental health concerns (e.g., Facts for Families, practice parameters, meeting materials, policy statements) -- mostly free, many of which can be accessed through the Internet. Their publications catalogue is available on request.


    Library. In our searches, we often begin with a quick look at the library's catalogue for the latest books providing overviews and resource aids. We also look at periodical indexes. Many libraries have interlibrary loan and Internet connections. And good Reference Desk Librarians are worth their weight in gold. Many local college or university libraries allow non-campus members use of their services (sometimes for a small fee).

    We also find compendiums of best practices useful.

    II. Researching Research

    Again, our first step here is to find a comprehensive, basic overview on the topic (e.g., recent books and journal review articles). We identify these through subject searches in library catalogues (narrowing the search down to the last few years) and through listings of books in print (which are readily accessible through the Internet). If we don't find what we need or if we need the most recent research, we look for relevant journal articles.

    Current Index of Journals in Education. This database links to journals that deal with education evaluation and policy studies; searchers use keywords. Access through major libraries; documents can be requested from document delivery sources. Some services are subscription-based. Certain material can be accessed through the ERIC database (

    PsychInfo is a reference database published by the American Psychological Association ( Local university libraries often have access to PsychInfo and the journals (many universities will provide services for non-affiliated patrons).

    Then, there are colleagues:

    If you don't have a colleague to consult with, try our Consultation Cadre feature. You can search for a cadre participant on our website. Just click on the search and quickfind link and go to the section on search our databases. Then select the cadre category in the selection box. You can also narrow your search to a specific state using the selection box on the right side of the screen. Then type in a couple of keywords and press submit. If you don't find someone, then you might need to expand your search criteria. If you need any help, just contact the Center.

    You can also post a message on our Net Exchange message board. Just send a note to the Center and we'll post your request for assistance for others to see and respond to.

    And, of course, as needed, feel free to contact any of the many technical assistance centers (many of which are listed on our website in our Gateway to Links)

    Center for Mental Health in Schools, UCLA
    Department of Psychology, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
    Phone: (310) 825-3634
    Fax: (310) 206-5895
    Internet Web site:
    (Use our Web site to connect with others -- including many of those listed above)
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