Why School-based Health?

The Benefits of School-Based Health Care

Healthy Kids Learn Better

For over 30 years, Michigan’s school-based and school-linked health centers (SBHCs) have provided comprehensive physical and mental health care, offering medical and mental health screening and treatment for children and teens.

Getting to Know School-Based Health Care in Michigan

  • 196 total school-based/school-linked centers and programs; 100 are state-funded
  • 52% of Michigan Counties have an adolescent school-based health program
  • In 2018: Over 37,000 children and youth have used school-based/linked health care in Michigan, including immunizations, mental health care, primary care, and health education services. 
  • School-Based Health Centers are a pediatric office located in a school staffed by mid-level practitioners (Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants).
  • They are a located in areas where families are economically disadvantaged and struggle to access medical services.
  • The centers are designed to appeal to young people by creating a friendly atmosphere specific to their age-group.
  • Parents must sign written consents for their children to receive the full scope of of services provided at the School-Based Health Center

School-Linked Health Centers

  • Located off school grounds
  • Often serve more than one school
  • Established methods of referral, communication, and follow-up with SBHC partners
  • Often extended hours beyond the school day
  • Often broader scope of services than SBHCs

The Benefits of School-Based Health Care

  • Increases student attendance and graduation rates
  • Improves school performance
  • Succeeds in preventing and treating conditions such obesity and asthma
  • Reduces hospitalization and emergency care usage
  • Improves mental health

Data Sources:

School-Based Health Alliance Fact Sheets, https://www.sbh4all.org/

Michigan Department of Community Health https://www.michigan.gov/mdch

What Students Have to Say About School-Based Health

“The school-based health center is important to me because it helps kids when they need help, keeps kids clean and healthy. They help when they’re sick and they can stay in school.”

Rayven, 9, Newton Health Center

“The Taylor Teen Health Center is like a family to me. When ever I have problems in school, home, or medical problems they are always there. It’s not just a health center it’s also like a big support group.”

Bridget, 15, Taylor Teen Health Center

“The school-based health center is important to me because it provides health care when I’m sick, support when many teens need it, and it provides the information that I need on how to stay abstinent and why it is important to be this way.”

Ashley, 17, Benton Harbor Health Clinic