Leading Transformative Mental Health in Schools: A Systems Intervention

Unique Program For School Districts

Use a Team Approach to Address Mental Health

The Center for Behavioral Health, Equity, and Leadership in Schools (BHELS) at William James College is offering a systems intervention for K-12 focused on Leading Transformative Mental Health in Schools. This unique program for school districts is designed for school leaders and teachers to address the increased behavioral and emotional dysregulation of our youth. The program is comprised of three components: for teachers, administrators, and systems, and will equip your school or district with the tools and support needed to improve your school's culture, educational outcomes, and adult and student well-being.

We are calling on school districts to sign on for this 9-month program to engage multiple stakeholders through academic training, professional workshops, coaching, and a review of practices in the school system.

Please note: This is a cohort-based application from participating districts and regions.
Please contact Dr. Nadja Lopez about becoming a participating district or region.  



A cohort of four teachers will enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Leading Transformative Mental Health in Schools.

Graduate Credits and Timeline

  • Each teacher receives a total of 15 graduate credits; begins Fall 2024 and ends in June, 2025. 


  • Use of Self in Leading Transformative Mental Health: Adult Social Emotional Competencies and Cultural Humility 
  • Practicum 1
  • Clinical Concepts for Equitable Instructional Practice in the Classroom
  • Practicum 2
  • Inclusive Teacher Leadership 

Experiential Learning

The practica are highly interactive meetings where active learning takes place. There will be a combination of virtual meetings and in-person meetings where instructors will visit teams at their schools.


School leaders will participate in the Transformative Mental Health in Schools Leadership (TMHSL) Institute, where they will engage in high leverage professional development and receive peer support as they learn key TMHSL Power Moves. Benefits of participation include:

  • Access to all academic materials from the Graduate Certificate Program
  • Exclusive participation in three workshops leading to Power Move certification focusing on culturally responsive leadership, key concepts regarding DEIB and mental health, and creating and sustaining a positive school culture
  • Exclusive membership into a community of practice (three sessions, one hour each)
  • Leadership coaching and resources with a focus on team engagement opportunities
  • Upon completion of each power move, participants will receive a badge. Upon completion of all three Power Moves participants will receive a certificate in Transformative Mental Health in Schools Leadership and 20 PDPs.
  • Eligibility to attend a BHELS role alike group (superintendent and/or director of special education) at no additional cost 

School Systems

This program will assist both the teachers and their administrators in examining their work through a broader and data driven lens, identifying short and long-term goals.

  • Coaching to each cohort team on site (with principal and mental health staff and other key stakeholders present to promote a wrap-around approach)
  • Data driven approach—identifying critical baseline data to identify next steps for systems intervention
  • Follow-up after graduation—three coaching sessions for leadership and/or cohort team members (individual or group format)

Are you ready to transform your school?
Contact Us to learn how you can sign up for this hands-on program.

female teacher sitting on table talking to classroom of students

Learn About Our Graduate Certificate Curriculum

Courses focus on key issues in mental health, transformative social emotional learning (T-SEL), and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). The program is taught by our expert faculty from the Center for Behavioral Health, Equity and Leadership in Schools (BHELS) and the Organizational and Leadership Psychology department. The in-depth curriculum emphasizes creating a collaborative learning environment where school leaders feel supported so that they can focus on taking risks and trying new approaches that support adult and student mental health. Drawing from organizational psychology, leadership training will be incorporated to guide teachers in supporting each other and transforming the school environment to create systemic change.

Learn More

image of woman smiling in back of classroom

Meet Our Executive Director, Dr. Nadja Lopez

Dr. Nadja Lopez is the Executive Director of the William James College Center for Behavioral Health, Equity, and Leadership in Schools. Throughout her career, Dr. Lopez has focused on translating research and clinical practice into accessible school and community-based approaches aimed at promoting youth mental health. Dr. Lopez completed her graduate work at the University of Miami, Florida, and her pre and post-doctoral work at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she worked until 2011. She has worked directly with thousands of educators, parents, and community leaders, directed philanthropy-based initiatives focusing on prevention of adolescent depression and suicide, served as Co-Director of a Graduate Certificate in School Climate and Social Emotional Learning for educators, and was the Training Director for an internship program at William James College. Her primary clinical and research interests focus on the treatment of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents, school climate and social emotional learning, culturally responsive treatment and teaching, and systems change. Nadja has written multiple publications to support student mental health, including her book Anxiety and Depression in the Classroom: A Guide to Promoting Self-Regulation in Young Students, and is co-editor of the book The Parents' Guide to Psychological First Aid: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope With Predictable Life Crises, to be released Spring 2024.


Our Philosophy, Your Experience

At William James College, you will combine your classroom knowledge with hands-on experience to get a well-rounded and integrated education. Our curriculum combines an understanding of theory, training, and practice as you develop into a culturally responsive professional. You will be surrounded by like-minded faculty, staff, and peers who, like you, are dedicated to bringing high-quality services to culturally diverse clients, agencies, and organizations. With this training, you will be prepared to make a difference in our communities.

Ready for the Next Step?

Ready to Sign-Up Your District?

Contact Program Director, Dr. Nadja Lopez for more information.

Email Dr. Lopez Here

Ready to Apply?

Application to the Graduate Certificate is for teachers in participating districts only.

Email info@williamjames.edu

Looking for a Principal Prep Program?

Consider our Leadership Licensure Program/Graduate Certificate in School Leadership (LLP/GCSL) delivered in partnership with the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association.

Learn More

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