Supporting Student Mental Health

Blue Shield of California’s BlueSky initiative supports mental health for middle- and high school students in California by providing additional mental health clinicians in schools, training teachers on the signs of mental health issues, and empowering students with in-person and online mental health support resources.

Through the work of nonprofit Wellness Together, BlueSky brings additional mental health clinicians into schools to enhance access to care. This service is available in 20 middle- and high schools, with a student body of more than 20,000 students in Oakland Unified and San Leandro Unified school districts in Alameda County, and Sweetwater Union, Oceanside Unified and Juvenile Court & Community Schools in San Diego County. Since launch, over 2,500 counseling sessions have taken place and tele-counseling sessions are available when schools are closed.

Working with the California Department of Education, Blue Shield’s BlueSky program funds Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for thousands of public-school teachers and staff. By ensuring school personnel have the resources they need to support student mental health, the program reaches tens of thousands more students in classrooms across the state.

In collaboration with National Alliance on Mental Illness California (NAMI), Blue Shield of California BlueSky is supporting the expansion of student-led clubs in high schools throughout the state. NAMI on Campus clubs raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma in schools through peer-led activities, education and advocacy.

BlueSky has partnered with DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, to further equip and empower students with the tools they need to promote positive and effective mental health within their schools, communities and, ultimately, themselves. In response to COVID-19, BlueSky is building online resources for reducing stress and anxiety while social distancing.

  • Through the work of nonprofit Wellness Together, BlueSky brings additional mental health clinicians into schools to enhance access to care. This service is available in 20 middle- and high schools, with a student body of more than 20,000 students in Oakland Unified and San Leandro Unified school districts in Alameda County, and Sweetwater Union, Oceanside Unified and Juvenile Court & Community Schools in San Diego County. Since launch, over 2,500 counseling sessions have taken place and tele-counseling sessions are available when schools are closed.

  • Working with the California Department of Education, Blue Shield’s BlueSky program funds Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for thousands of public-school teachers and staff. By ensuring school personnel have the resources they need to support student mental health, the program reaches tens of thousands more students in classrooms across the state.

In collaboration with National Alliance on Mental Illness California (NAMI), Blue Shield of California BlueSky is supporting the expansion of student-led clubs in high schools throughout the state. NAMI on Campus clubs raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma in schools through peer-led activities, education and advocacy.

BlueSky has partnered with DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, to further equip and empower students with the tools they need to promote positive and effective mental health within their schools, communities and, ultimately, themselves. In response to COVID-19, BlueSky is building online resources for reducing stress and anxiety while social distancing.

Blue Shield of California BlueSky supports student mental health in collaboration with leading organizations, including:

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Unmet mental health needs rank among the most pressing concerns for California educators. Up to one in five students in the US has a serious mental or behavioral health need, but here in California too few are receiving the care and services they need1, 2.

While school counselors can help, there aren’t enough of them. On average, every school counselor in California is responsible for 600 students, more than double the recommended average3.

Sound mental health is more than the absence of disorders, it includes developing resilience, which means building effective coping skills and adapting in the face of challenges.

This program will empower our students with the skills and support that will help them get through life’s storms, knowing blue skies are ahead.


[1] 2013 Children’s Mental Health Report – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

[2] 2018 California Children’s Report Card – Children Now

[3] American School Counselor Association

Grounded in Research

BlueSky builds youth resilience by supporting programs that focus on three protective factors developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, as part of their research-based Strengthening Families Framework:

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Emotional competence

Developing a child’s ability to effectively communicate their feelings and self-regulate behavior

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Social connections

Providing emotional support and help to solve problems through support of student-led clubs that tackle mental health

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Concrete support

Sponsoring key community partners and engaging Blue Shield of California employees in workplace giving

Find BlueSky at a School Near You

Blue Shield’s BlueSky program has launched in 20 middle- and high schools in Alameda and San Diego counties, supporting a total student body of more than 20,000.

Alameda County Schools
  • icon Westlake Middle School (Oakland Unified)
  • iconUrban Promise Academy (Oakland Unified)
  • iconFrick United Academy of Language
  • iconColiseum College Preparatory Academy (Middle & High-Oakland Unified)
  • iconLife Academy Oakland (Middle & High-Oakland Unified)
  • iconSan Leandro High School (San Leandro Unified)
  • iconLincoln High School (San Leandro Unified)
  • iconBancroft Middle (San Leandro Unified)
  • iconJohn Muir Middle (San Leandro Unified)
  • iconUnited for Success Academy
San Diego Schools
  • iconEastlake High School (Sweetwater Union)
  • iconOtay Ranch High School (Sweetwater Union)
  • iconSan Ysidro High School (Sweetwater Union)
  • iconCastle Park Middle School (Sweetwater Union)
  • iconEl Camino High School (Oceanside Unified)
  • iconOceanside High School (Oceanside Unified)
  • iconJefferson Middle School (Oceanside Unified)
  • iconKing Middle School (Oceanside Unified)
  • iconECB 37 High (San Diego County Office of Education Juvenile Court & Community Schools)
  • iconNorth County Technology and Science Academy (Middle and High—San Diego Office of Education Juvenile Court & Community Schools)

Resources for Student Mental Health

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Resources for educators

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Resources for youth

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Get involved

“At Blue Shield of California, we know the essential role mental and emotional health play in a person’s overall well-being, starting in childhood. No one is immune to adversity, yet each person’s future depends on his or her ability to cope through life’s challenges. Our goal through Blue Shield of California BlueSky is to empower and support students by helping them develop resilience and emotional well-being today, so they have a lifetime of good health in front of them.”

Signature Paul Markovich

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