Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Shelley G. West


This case study focused on the perceptions of faculty and staff of mental health services at the elementary level in a rural district. Mental health services provided in elementary school settings can ultimately change the outcome of individuals’ lives. Many districts in North Carolina lack the funds to hire mental health counselors, and must rely on elementary school counselors to take the lead in providing students with the mental health care they need. This qualitative case study focused on the perceptions of faculty and staff and was the primary focus of this research. An analysis of feedback from three elementary school teachers, three elementary school counselors, three elementary mental health counselors, and three elementary principals was conducted. Through the interviews, mental health services in the elementary school was found to have an overall positive response from all participants. When dealing with mental health, many counselors have found that students who have experienced some form of childhood trauma struggle academically, socially, and emotionally. Without the proper mental health support, a child’s life may be negatively impacted by drugs, alcohol, prostitution, homelessness, academic failure, family isolation, or even death. The goal of this case study was to increase awareness of mental health services available in the elementary school setting and to increase recognition of students who will benefit from accessing these services.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License