Tab/Accordion Items

The 2-hr refresher addresses at least 2 of 6 MH training program areas, and on even-numbered years, 2 hours of sex trafficking and child sex abuse content must be provided.

The 6-hr initial training (for new employees) must address all 6 areas, regardless of year.

No, but you should keep detailed rosters in the event of an audit.

The State Board of Education Policy SHLT-003 is the School Mental Health Policy that aligns with North Carolina SL 2020-7.  

Each K-12 public school unit (PSU) shall adopt and implement a plan for promoting student mental health and well-being and for assessing and improving upon the effectiveness of supports for the mental and social-emotional health and substance use needs of its students and staff by July 1, 2021.

The PSU Improvement Plan for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and School Mental Health (SMH) (per NC SBE Policy SHLT-003) is a template that can be used to document your efforts and serve as your plan to upload for reporting.


View the video tour.

The Outline for the SEL & SBMH Implementation Plan featured in the video tour is provided to assist your team in planning.

No.  The no-cost resources provided are to assist any PSU who may not have an option for completing the training requirements.  If you have a training program already in use that meets the required components, you may continue to use that training.  

For more information on selecting training, please see the section on Considerations for Selecting Training.  Trainings must include the following components:
●    Definition
●    National & State statistics
●    Myths & Facts
●    Risk Factors
●    Protective Factors
●    Respond to Warning Signs
●    Resources
Child sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention must include:
●    Best practices from the field of prevention
●    The grooming process of sexual predators
●    The warning signs of sexual abuse and sex trafficking
●    How to intervene when sexual abuse or sex trafficking is suspected or disclosed
●    Legal responsibilities for reporting sexual abuse or sex trafficking, and available resources for assistance

The mental and social-emotional health and substance use training plan will target teachers, instructional support personnel, principals, and assistant principals; it may also include, at the discretion of the PSU, other school employees who work directly with students in grades K-12.  These training requirements shall not apply to employees who are anticipated to have minimal or no direct student contact.

Existing and new school personnel have to receive at least 6 hours of training initially. When more new personnel come to your district, they also have to receive at least 6 hours of training within the first six months of employment with your school district but that can be waived by your district if the new employee completed the initial 6-hour mental health training at another K-12 school unit. Once school personnel have received the minimum 6-hour training, they are to participate in at least 2 hours of training in subsequent years.

View the guidance document to access the Canvas course which includes modules on:

  • Suicide Prevention
  • Substance abuse
  • Teenage dating violence
  • Sex trafficking prevention


The policy does not require inclusion of staff working with PreK students, but nothing prohibits an PSU from including them.

No, the clock starts July 1, 2021. The sex abuse/human trafficking content may be deferred to 2022 and subsequent even-numbered years. This still means 6 contact hours in all other content are required between July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022.



Yes, except for the sex abuse/trafficking content, which may be covered in 2022 and subsequent even-numbered years.

SHLT-003 requires PSUs to make an effort to establish one or both of those arrangements:

In addition, each PSU shall offer to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO), and/or, to the extent deemed appropriate by the PSU, with local mental health and substance use providers serving the geographic area in which the PSU is located.

An MOU/MOA will mostly likely be established with an LME/MCO, while relationships with local mental health and substance use providers are likely to be established in the form of a contract. Either or both meet the requirements of the policy; the point is to have a codified relationship with community provider(s) to ensure coordination of referral, treatment, and re-entry for students requiring community-based services.

To this point and in light of Medicaid Transformation to Managed Care, PSUs may also want to consider adding the Managed Care Organization(s) serving their location to the Consent to Release Information form signed by parents. This will significantly decrease referral response time by allowing MCOs to coordinate their provider networks without having to acquire a second/separate consent.

By September 15 of each year.  There are questions included in the Healthy Active Children Report that will serve as a reporting requirement for SHLT-003.  In addition to answering the questions, you must upload a PDF copy of your school mental health improvement plan.