Benefits of SBHCs

School-based health centers (SBHCs) are facilities that provide preventive and primary health care services to children and adolescents. They are conveniently located on or near a school campus. Benefits of SBHCs include:

  • Addressing unmet health care needs promptly by conveniently operating where kids are at times that suit their schedule
  • Reaching populations least likely to receive care such as adolescents, minorities, and uninsured students
  • Helping students by providing a safe place to talk about sensitive issues such as depression, family problems, relationships, and substance abuse
  • Promoting chronic disease maintenance and teach students self-management skills
  • Supporting the school environment and academic achievement by helping children stay in school while identifying and addressing health problems that may impact the learning process
  • Aiding families by allowing parents to stay at work while attending to their child’s routine health care needs
  • Reducing costs by replacing some hospital and emergency room visits with less-costly clinic visits
  • Teaching students to be better health care consumers
  • Strengthening the connection between the community and the school

Texas High School Student: “The SBHC-HC has probably saved lives. I know that because it saved mine.”   

Texas School Nurse: “I can see how effective it is…both the medical and social side of the SBHC. You know, it really does help our kids.” 

Texas Teacher: “Kids learn how to talk about their feelings.”   

Texas Parent: “It’s a convenient service.”

Stories about Texas SBHCs 

Read the positive impact Texas SBHCs are having on children and adolescents.

Allergy Issues

One SBHC provider recalls a string of visits from an elementary school student suffering from allergies who was referred to the clinic by the school nurse. “After the referral, I saw this student several times in the clinic, and she would get better with her allergy symptoms and then her allergy symptoms would quickly return. After speaking to her mother, she explained to me that her other two children were having issues with their allergies as well. All three children were having these cycles with their allergies. For a while, we would have them all under control. Then they would have issues again. I spoke to the mother about my concern for the cause of her children’s allergies. She stated that black stuff is growing on the windows, walls, and cabinets in her apartment. She stated that when she washes it, the children’s allergies are better, but when the black stuff returns, their allergies worsen again. I asked her to bring me pictures so I can see what she was talking about. Her apartment was mold-infested. I explained all the health risks that can be caused by mold. Over a period of a couple of months, I wrote several letters to their landlord asking them to remove all the mold or let my patients’ parents out of their lease. The mold was so bad that the landlord could not clean it all up in a reasonable time and let them out of their lease without a penalty. Now this family is living in a nice house mold and allergy free.”


Another Texas SBHC provider recalls a story involving a high school student suffering from depression. This student was referred from a community clinic operated by the same hospital that operates the SBHC. “She was very unhappy and suicidal. Her mother met with the SBHC behavioral health provider first and cried throughout the session over worry for her daughter’s condition. Through weekly sessions, collaboration with school personnel to help improve attendance, and a recommendation for medication, the student’s mental health improved greatly. She began to smile again, look forward to weekly sessions, and improved her attendance to the point she was no longer in danger of having to attend summer school to make up work and missed days. She began to thrive in her personal life. School work and friendships improved as her outlook on life became better.”

Multiple Barriers Overcome

An SBHC provider in a rural area of Texas recounts a story of a high school student navigating autism, oral health issues, and a mental health diagnosis. In addition, the conversation was challenging and stressful for this student due to facial tics and stuttering. This resulted in extreme appointment anxiety thus reducing the number of services received. “He became very angry when people did not respond to him as he wanted. He learned to control a great deal of this by intensive counseling.” She recalled that the SBHC staff was called any time he needed help controlling his reactions and frustration. “SBHC staff was able to help him process the event and alternate ways of responding. He improved tremendously. His success served as encouragement for him and his family.” She continued, “The school and SBHC staff together worked with his family to embrace and enroll him in a sheltered living occupational training program after graduation. His mother admits she would never have been able to take this step without the support and guidance she received over the entire year.” 

More Inspiring Stories from Across the Nation

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