Massachusetts school-based mental health work gets a $13M boost – NBC Boston

More than 30 “high-need” Massachusetts schools are getting funding to establish mental health support programs, Gov. Maura Healey announced Tuesday as the administration seeks to stem the youth mental health crisis and help struggling students return to the classroom. Wants to do.

The state is investing $13 million in the Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) program, which provides academic case management, clinical care, family support and care coordination as some students fall behind in their studies. Get used to returning to school full-time. For mental health concerns. Nationally, nearly half of students with mental health challenges drop out of high school, although 95 percent of BRYT students graduate on time, Healy's office said.

Healy announced the plans at Wellesley High School, which started one of the first BRYT programs 18 years ago. The $13 million commitment — which includes $3 million in federal COVID-19 relief money and $10 million from the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Trust Fund — is intended to help schools that lack the financial wherewithal to offer the program independently. There is shortage of resources.

“For the first time, we are providing seed funding for BRYT programs – because we know such critical mental health supports must be a reality for students, not just in schools with the resources to establish programming,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim. Driscoll said in a statement. “We want every Massachusetts student to thrive academically and emotionally. BRYT's expansion brings us one step closer to that goal.”

After the initial hospital stay, less than 20 percent of BRYT participants are readmitted to the hospital. Healy's office said participants also reported a 50 percent decline in substance use disorders and self-harm behaviors.

Healy's office said BRYT programming helps students with their mental health and academic pursuits as well as reconnecting socially. Eight schools, including Boston's John D. O'Bryant School, Brockton High School, Everett High School, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, Malden High School, Springfield High School, have already met “low-resource, high-need criteria” to launch the BRYT program. Have completed. Commerce Department, Springfield Legacy Academy, and Taunton High School.

Healy's office said each school will receive $259,000 over 20 months to develop their programs and ensure staffing.

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