100 Schools Project to Begin in September

Meeting the needs of students with emotional, behavioral and substance-abuse issues can often be a challenge for schools. Educators may not be properly trained to recognize or manage students’ signs of distress, and emotional incidents and high rates of absenteeism can disrupt the classroom.

Through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, we can bring together our schools and community health resources to improve students’ access to mental health services, creating a more productive learning environment for both students and teachers.

Beginning in September, OneCity Health’s collaboration with three other New York City-based Performing Provider Systems (PPSs) – Community Care of Brooklyn, Bronx Health Access and Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities – will officially launch the 100 Schools Project. The PPSs are funding and overseeing the project, while the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) is coordinating the initiative and will teach schools how to connect students who have emotional, behavioral and substance-abuse challenges with top-tier local mental health providers while enabling the students to remain in school.

At each school, local mental health and substance abuse providers from the four PPS networks who have been trained by experts from The Jewish Board will teach educators, administrators and guidance counselors how to recognize signs of distress, how to approach students and, where appropriate, their families, how to access local behavioral and mental health providers and how to handle behavioral crises.

The program will kick off with a pilot that starts this September in 10 schools — five in Brooklyn and five in the Bronx. In January 2017, the program will move into an additional 40 schools, adding Queens and Manhattan to the mix. The remaining 50 schools will be added in the fall of 2017.