Shlon’s research interests center around addressing the academic and mental health needs of students in low-income and urban communities. Her research focuses on effective and comprehensive policy development and implementation that specifically addresses the health and wellness needs of vulnerable populations who may experience food insecurity, lack of access to health care, and other adverse childhood experiences.
Shlon aims to 1) identify solutions to increase access to and acceptance of mental health services and providers of color in minority-serving schools, 2) create comprehensive systems to address the health and wellness needs of students, and 3) advocate for a change in school disciplinary policies and practices that disproportionately affect minority students. Shlon intends to achieve these goals through interdisciplinary research that strives to support school and neighborhood communities, while informing and improving policy and practice. Shlon visualizes her research fusing school psychology, health policy, and counseling services in order to improve African American student outcomes and dismantle educational systems of oppression that fuel the school-to-prison pipeline.
MORE ABOUT SHLON
Shlon’s school psychology training and advocacy background, which focus on the academic, behavioral, and mental health needs of students, makes her uniquely qualified to examine the lack of mental health services primarily in schools serving low-income, diverse populations and its effects on student outcomes.
DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — SPRING 2022
Access Defined: Towards a Better Understanding of Black Youth’s Access and Utilization of School Mental Health Services
School mental health (SMH) services have garnered widespread attention as an alternative to the barriers faced in accessing and utilizing community based mental health services; however, less is known about how Black middle school youth access and utilize SMH services. This dissertation centers Black middle school youths’ experiences and perspectives around SMH providers to explore SMH policies and systems at the school and district level. The goal of this research is to investigate fragmented and robust areas of SMH services and to identify opportunities for improvement in policies, procedures, and interventions that will expand the reach of SMH to Black middle school youth while bringing additional light to the rarely acknowledged issue of mental health challenges within the Black middle school youth community and SMH services.
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