An abundance of evidence suggests that K–12 Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) students experience disparities in school-based mental health services and negative school-based outcomes due to racism, discrimination, and biases. Such experiences have deleterious impact on their mental health, academic functioning, and other pre- and post-matriculation outcomes. These dynamics can lead to poor academic functioning and adverse mental health outcomes which can include depression, anxiety, toxic stress, decreased self-worth and self-esteem, and psychological maladjustment. School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) providers that are trained to be culturally responsive are uniquely situated to mitigate these negative events and ensure that BIPOC students have more positive outcomes and gain greater access to mental health services. They can do this by advocating for their needs, conducting culturally appropriate treatment, and providing recommendations to other school stakeholders about being culturally responsive. School-based mental health providers must receive proper training to be culturally responsive and facilitate appropriate and affirming support for this population. Based on a culturally responsive framework and theoretical foundations from Bronfenbrenner’s Socioecological Theory and Social Justice Theory, this manual recommends training SBMH providers to use a robust school-based culturally responsive mental health training program called the WE program that encompasses three main areas. Area one, “Pre-Work,” area two a “16-session culturally therapeutic model” based on CBT and Strength-based approaches, and area three “culturally responsive systemic school recommendations.” All three areas are designed to promote improvement to BIPOC students’ mental health and decrease their K–12 pre- and post-matriculation negative outcomes.

LLU Discipline

Marital and Family Therapy


Counseling and Family Sciences


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Heather Beeson

Second Advisor

Nichola Seaton Ribadu

Third Advisor

Camille Salters

Degree Name

Doctor of Marital and Family Therapy (DMFT)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

School-based mental health services; Bias; Indigenous Peoples; Black or African American; Students


Doctoral Project

Page Count

xiii, 292

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives