SESAME (Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support for Mental Health) is a three-tiered system of support designed to create a safe learning environment for the whole school, in order to prevent the development of internalizing psychosocial disorders in students. SESAME is characterized in particular by the fact that evidence-based methods for assessment and intervention at different support tiers are linked together. The intensity of assessment and intervention depends on the needs of the students.
In SESAME there are three tiers of support. Each tier implements specific methods of assessment and intervention (see figure). The SESAME methods are based on specific selection criteria and they are implemented on the basis of major guiding principles:
All practices are evidence-based, i.e. they fit the needs of the students, they correspond to the professionality of the users and their effectiveness has been scientifically proven.
The interventions on each tier address a specific target group. At the first universal tier, the interventions address all students. At the second (selective) and third (indicated) levels, assessment and interventions are implemented with higher intensity and they are even more closely adapted to the needs of individual students.
Data is collected regularly in order to check, monitor and evaluate the progress of the students.
Human and material resources are allocated to ensure that SESAME is implemented in a comprehensive and professional way.
The implementation of SESAME is managed by qualified SESAME coaches. The SESAME coaches are qualified in a one-week qualification course to accompany and support schools in the process of implementing SESAME.
The SESAME leadership team is responsible for the implementation in a school. The leadership team consists of individual representatives of the school life, such as school leaders, teachers, students and parents. In this way it gives all participants a voice to develop a safe learning environment. The leadership team has the main responsibility for the implementation of SESAME. It also coordinates the collection of evaluation data in order to keep an overview of the implementation in the school and to adapt it if needed.