Background Related to the Issue

The goal of this Assignment:

This assignment allows you to explore a health policy topic from a variety of perspectives. You will use this information as a foundation for policy development and advocacy. The assignment engages you in learning about an issue and accurately – and in a non-biased fashion — identifying the policy and political issues that are central to that topic.

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Title page: follow APA guidelines to format the title page
  • Page count: 5 pages minimum, 6 pages maximum (this excludes the title page and references)
  • Font size: 12-point font
  • Font type: Times New Roman
  • Margins: 1-inch all around
  • Spacing: Double spacing
  • Page numbers: follow APA guidelines by including a page number at the bottom right of the page (excluding the title page)
  • References: The page count does not include the references, which should be attached at the end of the paper

Template for the Health Policy Final Paper Assignment

The health policy paper is a written document that contains the following parts:

  • Title Page
    • Follow APA style guide to format the title page
  • Statement of the Policy Issue
    • Brief (2-3 sentence) statement describing the issue
  • Background related to the issue
    • An explanation of the problem and its significance. Include support as needed, including references to research literature if relevant
  • Information pertinent to the issue 
    • This may pertain to current laws needing to be changed, current debate about the issue, and/or data about the issue
  • Policy Options
    • What has been done (or proposed) about the issue so far? Have other organizations addressed it? Are there pending legislative or regulatory proposals? (include support as needed)
  • Your Recommendation for Policy
    • List recommendations about what different stakeholders should do—e.g., Congress, state legislatures, relevant government agencies, health systems leaders, other nursing organizations, etc. (Of course, this will depend on the specific issue). Can be formatted as a bullet list if appropriate.
  • References
    • Format the references using the APA style guide

Background related to the issue

Title: Addressing the Mental Health Crisis in Schools: A Call for Comprehensive Policy Reform

Statement of the Policy Issue: The mental health crisis among students in schools has reached alarming proportions, with increasing rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide among adolescents. This paper aims to explore the complexities of this issue and advocate for comprehensive policy reform to address it effectively.

Background related to the issue: The mental health challenges faced by students have profound implications for their academic performance, social interactions, and long-term well-being. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year, with half of all lifetime cases beginning by age 14. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health concerns, amplifying stressors such as social isolation, disrupted routines, and economic hardships.

Information pertinent to the issue: Despite the growing recognition of the importance of mental health in schools, there remains a significant gap in access to appropriate resources and support. Many schools lack sufficient mental health professionals, such as counselors and psychologists, resulting in inadequate screening, early intervention, and treatment services. Furthermore, stigma surrounding mental illness often deters students from seeking help, exacerbating the problem.

Policy Options: Several initiatives have been proposed to address the mental health crisis in schools. These include increasing funding for school-based mental health services, implementing comprehensive mental health education programs, and promoting partnerships between schools, mental health providers, and community organizations. Additionally, legislation such as the Mental Health Services for Students Act and the Mental Health in Schools Act has been introduced to enhance mental health support systems in educational settings.

Your Recommendation for Policy:

  1. Increase funding for mental health services in schools to ensure adequate staffing levels and resources for screening, assessment, and intervention.
  2. Implement evidence-based mental health education programs to promote awareness, reduce stigma, and teach coping skills to students.
  3. Establish partnerships between schools, mental health providers, and community organizations to facilitate seamless access to services and resources.
  4. Integrate mental health into the broader framework of school health policies, including initiatives related to bullying prevention, substance abuse prevention, and suicide prevention.
  5. Prioritize the recruitment and retention of culturally competent mental health professionals to meet the diverse needs of students from various backgrounds.
  6. Advocate for policies that promote a positive school climate and foster supportive relationships among students, staff, and families.
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