Mental Health Emergency Preparedness for the School Workforce

An intervention to increase psychological preparedness for teachers, staff and leadership in pre-K-8 schools during emergencies.

About the study

The research project involved co-creation, implementation and evaluation of a psychological preparedness training for the public-school workforce, complimenting their current emergency preparedness plans and drills. The project also included shared leadership and peer support components, encouraging teachers to support one another and engage with emergency preparedness planning and drills. We worked with six schools from Cherry Creek School District with about 300 school-based personnel. Now that the study is complete, we aim to offer this intervention to other school districts throughout the region.

Thanks to their dedication to workplace health, safety, and well-being through this project, Cherry Creek School District's Safety and Security Team was awarded the Community Impact Award for the Center's 2023 Partner Awards.

This training will make employees feel more psychologically prepared for an emergency, and will increase peer support related to emergency preparedness.

Courtney Welton-Mitchell PhD, MA Clinical Assistant Professor

Download the Curriculum Manual

The curriculum manual was created to accompany a training. The purpose of the manual and the training is to support schools in integrating mental health preparedness with emergency preparedness. Are you interested in bringing the training to your district, school or organization?
Although we are not sure what we can offer at this time, please indicate if you would be interested in any of the following:


The team

Miranda Dally DrPH, MS

Senior Research Instructor

Sarah Levine MPH

Research Services Professional

Natalie Schwatka PhD, MS

Assistant Professor


This project stems from lessons learned from the Small+Safe+Well study and draws on the following research.

James, L., Welton-Mitchell, C., Noel, J.R., & James, A. (2019). Integrating mental health and disaster preparedness in intervention: RCT with earthquake and flood-affected communities in Haiti. Psychological Medicine, 1–11.

Welton-Mitchell, C., James, L., Khanal, S.N., James, A. (2018). An integrated approach to mental health and disaster preparedness: A cluster comparison with earthquake-affected communities in Nepal. BMC Psychiatry, Sep 15;18(1):296.

Relevant Resources

This program is supported by a cooperative agreement (2 U19OH011227-06-00) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as part of one of 10 national Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®.

Center for Health, Work & Environment

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Suite W3111

Mail Stop B119

Aurora, CO 80045

CMS Login