The vision of the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health at the University of Oregon is to improve access for all youth to evidence-based behavioral health supports. Central to the achievement of this vision will be the establishment of a new bachelor's level profession, the Child Behavioral Health Specialist.


    How will we do this?

    The Ballmer Institute will establish a new national model for supporting the mental health of children and families by creating the nation’s first undergraduate program in child behavioral health. The institute prioritizes the needs of youth who have been historically or persistently underserved and seeks to make real system change by: 

    • Creating a new bachelor's level mental health profession to support and grow the behavioral health field 

    • Partnering with schools to integrate child behavioral health specialists 

    • Delivering behavioral health supports and interventions in schools and the community 

    • Training teachers and other youth-serving professionals to promote youth behavioral health.

    • Developing new approaches to improve child behavioral health outcomes for youth and families.

    What does this look like?

    We are proud to partner with Portland Public Schools where our undergraduate students, under the supervision of University of Oregon clinical faculty, will deliver evidence-based interventions to promote well-being, and prevent mental health problems from developing and worsening in children and adolescents. 


    In the fall of 2023, our clinical faculty will begin working in several PPS middle schools where they will:

    • Learn more about the school and existing behavioral health services 

    • Work with the behavioral health staff in each school to identify areas where support is most needed

    • Align activities to support student behavioral health to meet the specific needs of each school

    • Build relationships with the school community

    When will child behavior health students be in PPS schools?


    • In the fall of 2024, child behavioral health undergraduates in their junior year will begin their applied training and coursework at the Ballmer Institute at the University of Oregon Portland’s northeast campus. In the winter of 2024, students will begin working in middle schools to deliver behavioral health support under the supervision of UO clinical faculty. 

    What will child behavioral health students do?

    Our students will be able to support schools with multiple strategies including:

    • Early Identification of behavioral health concerns through strategies like universal behavioral health screenings, mental health literacy interventions 

    • Behavioral Health Promotion  - Delivering evidence-based behavioral health supports that promote wellness for all students (e.g. emotion regulation tools, stress management skills, supports for identity development and building healthy relationships)

    • Prevention and Intervention - Delivering brief evidence-based interventions to youth at elevated risk for behavioral health challenges. (e.g. cognitive and behavioral strategies such as problem-solving skills or relaxation training)

    Child behavioral health students and faculty will complement the current skills and responsibilities of your school’s child behavioral health team. 


    The Ballmer Institute for Children's Behavioral Health