About Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS)

Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) prevents youth violence and substance use in schools and communities, and promotes and improves student access to mental health services. 

Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) is a comprehensive model that has proven to be successful in creating safe and secure schools in communities across the country. The initiative was established in response to a series of deadly school shootings in the late 1990s.

Since 1999, SS/HS has embarked on an unprecedented federal collaboration with the Department of Education (ED), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prevent youth violence and promote the healthy development of youth. This effort has enabled SS/HS to provide services to more than 13 million youth and has offered more than $2 billion in funding and other resources to 365 communities in 49 states across the nation.

SS/HS has not only provided grantees with the opportunity to benefit from collaboration but also has provided them with the tools to sustain it through deliberate planning, more cost-effective service delivery, and a broader funding base. Download a complete list of SS/HS grantees (XLS | 27 KB).

A five-year study found that the initiative decreased school violence and substance use, and it significantly increased the number of students who received school-based mental health services and community-based services. Learn more about the SS/HS National Evaluation.

SS/HS recognizes that schools alone do not have the capacity to respond effectively to violence, substance use, untreated mental illness, and a broad range of antisocial behaviors. Therefore, SS/HS strengthens the role of schools as healthy learning environments that support the academic, social, and emotional growth of students. In addition, the initiative has demonstrated that a collaborative approach among schools and other youth-serving organizations in communities works best when addressing complex issues. Learn more at the School and Campus Health topic.

The SS/HS mission continues to support school and community partnerships in their efforts to create safe, drug-free, and respectful environments for learning, and to promote the behavioral health of children and youth. Learn more about the SS/HS Framework at the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention.

State Planning, Local Education Agency, and Local Community Cooperative Agreements

This partnership model is designed to facilitate a closer relationship between state policy development and local implementation of programs to address youth violence and promote the wellness of children, youth, and families.

Grants developed from this partnership model support the wide-spread adoption and operation of the SS/HS Initiative. They also build state- and community-level partnerships among education, behavioral health (mental and/or substance use), and criminal and juvenile justice systems that promote systems integration, policy change, infrastructure, and supports.

Last Updated: 06/08/2015