The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic accelerated the impending youth mental health crisis in the United States, necessitating a comprehensive approach to providing mental health education and interventions. School-based occupational therapy practitioners’ scope of practice includes wellness promotion, early detection, and evidence-based interventions for mental health challenges. Given the rise of school-based wellness programs, the growing legislation supporting the formation of such programs, and the burgeoning burden of pediatric mental health concerns, occupational therapy practitioners are uniquely positioned to create and implement interventions to support student access to the general education curriculum and can do so by using both prepandemic funding sources and pandemic response funds. This Health Policy Perspectives column is a call to action to refocus the occupational therapy practitioner’s role in school settings to include providing high-quality, evidence-based preventive mental health education and interventions. In this column, we examine prevention-based occupational therapy services in Mason City Schools, Mason, Ohio, as a model of success in the execution of this vision for school-based practice. In addition, we outline the importance of expanding the role of occupational therapy practitioners in schools, which will in turn increase the visibility and relevancy of the profession and broaden its impact on mitigating the youth mental health crisis.

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