Medicaid Coverage of School-Based Mental Health Services

Publication Date: August 2008

Publisher: Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law


Research Area: Health

Keywords: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Mental health services; School-based counseling

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


Education opens critical doors for children with disabilities. Unfortunately, those doors are often closed to children with serious emotional disorders. Many miss out on the "free appropriate public education" to which they are entitled under federal law when schools fail to identify and serve them.

Schools can use Medicaid to cover a wide range of services for students with emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. School districts should take advantage of this source of funding to expand services to meet the needs of these students.