Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about TRAILS? Whether you’re an educator, mental health provider, or member of the community, you’ll find helpful information below.

For students, families, community members

TRAILS Programs

My child attends a TRAILS partner school. Where can I find more information about what they’re learning?

For every TRAILS program, school staff will send home regular letters designed to keep families and caregivers in the loop about what students are learning and when. For a more general overview of each program, start here.

How is TRAILS programming integrated into the school day?

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): SEL implementers (usually classroom teachers) deliver 1 TRAILS SEL lesson per week. The lessons are about 30 minutes long, and may be broken down into smaller pieces and delivered over the course of multiple days. While the timing of these lessons can vary, many schools schedule them during times such as morning meetings, advisory periods, or homerooms.

CBT and Mindfulness and Coping with COVID-19: School mental health professionals (such as counselors, social workers, or psychologists) deliver these programs during the school day, and students are excused from class to participate. Sessions range from 45 minutes to 1 hour in length, and the staff who deliver them work with students’ teachers to help them keep up to date with any coursework missed.

Suicide Prevention and Risk Management: Unlike other TRAILS programs, which focus on helping students build specific skills over a discrete period of time, this program offers trainings for staff to help them build strong suicide prevention policies in their schools.

Is TRAILS talk therapy?

No. Students participating in TRAILS programs are never required to share information about their personal lives. While our Social and Emotional Learning, CBT and Mindfulness, and Coping with COVID-19 programs are grounded in the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), school staff are trained to apply these principles in an educational way. All CBT components delivered through TRAILS are skills-based, which means that they offer specific strategies students can apply to their own lives. Examples of these strategies include: noticing and managing one’s feelings, getting active to boost mood, and challenging unhelpful thoughts.

What are the benefits to offering mental health support in schools?

For many youth and their families, getting mental health care can be extremely difficult. Factors such as limited insurance coverage, long waitlists, busy work schedules, and lack of transportation all work to keep students from receiving care in their communities.

By offering mental health support directly in schools, we can eliminate these and countless other barriers. In fact, school-based services are one of the most effective ways of ensuring that students get the support they need: 75% of youth who receive mental health care do so in the school setting.

Can I view samples of TRAILS program materials?

Yes! Many TRAILS materials, including samples from our Social and Emotional Learning curriculum, are free and open to the public. To access these materials, create an account.