School Mental Health Services
Every child deserves to grow and develop in an enriching, supportive learning environment, however, we know that is simply not the world in which we live. Many children live day-to-day with trauma, stress, poverty, grief and violence. The short walk to school can expose children to scenarios detrimental to their safety and wellbeing. For these children, life among such circumstances can force feelings of insecurity, anxiety and even suicidal ideation.
The mission of our School Department programs is to provide holistic support services during in-school and after-school hours within public schools to address the challenges of today’s suffering youth. Our programs enhance and foster the personal and social development of students by equipping them with the tools needed for better academic outcomes and life success.
Our Integrative Mental Wellness Model
In order to qualify for our programs, students must fall into one of our three catchment areas:
Students selected for enrollment in the program are divided into two tier levels:
Tier level 1 students are classified as high risk. These students are often truant or chronically absent and/or receive specialized services.
Tier level 2 students are classified as at-risk. At-risk students are students failing at least one class with an identified need for additional services.
Our Student Support Services
I’RAISE offers an array of services to complement our holistic approach in support of students’ social, emotional and mental health.
Individual Counseling: Our onsite licensed social workers provide one-on-one therapeutic counseling support for students in grades K-12 facing mental health challenges and/or struggling with emotional and social difficulties. Social workers establish trusted relationships with participating students and create safe spaces allowing open discussions around trauma, anxiety, depression, grief and other mental health challenges.
Group Counseling: Socialization is the main component of our group counseling sessions led by our licensed social workers. Students are assembled in targeted groups to develop supportive relationships and increase positive peer relationships as they work together developing crucial skills such as coping, empathy and active listening.
Group Mentoring: Our 12 week mentoring sessions is our most popular package that features 12 continuous weeks of learning and group mentorship. A certified mentor along with a social worker co-facilitate these interactive group based mentoring sessions to students in elementary through high school. Smaller group sizes are maintained to ensure individualized attention. This is a non-clinical model that focuses on building relationships and friendships with students and that focuses on helping students feel connected to a role model. We have a group based curriculum which is aimed at building character, competence, responsibility and empathy in students.
Art Therapy: A variety of art methods including visual art, dance, music and drama are offered to supplement therapeutic support and foster self expression.
Conflict Resolution/Peer Mediation: On-demand crisis intervention is provided to students experiencing moments of emotional or behavioral distress as a result of conflict with peers, teachers or other individuals during in-school time. Students are guided through de-escalation techniques until stabilized to facilitate an immediate resolution and return to academic studies.
Violence Prevention/Student Safety: Our coping skills group is a short-term targeted group to help students work through internal conflict and make better and healthy decisions. This is a 12 week continuous group and includes weekly sessions with our School social workers. Coping skills violence prevention groups are designed to support and help students with anger or aggression develop healthy adaptive behavior, identify and learn their triggers and learn how to interact socially responsible in a group setting.
Bullying Prevention: Bullying prevention groups are designed to support and help students prone to bullying or actively engaging in bullying to examine and understand their own behaviors, understand the effects of bullying including cyber bullying and learn empathy for others.
Family Support Services: Parents and guardians with children enrolled in the school can take advantage of workshops purposefully designed to educate families address common barriers to effective parent-child relationships and parent advocacy as it relates to their child’s education.
School Mentoring: Our 12 week mentoring sessions is our most popular package that features 12 continuous weeks of learning and group mentorship. A certified mentor along with a social work co- facilitates these interactive group based mentoring sessions to students in elementary through high school. Smaller group sizes are maintained to ensure individualized attention. This is a non-clinical model that focuses on building relationships and friendships with students and that focuses on helping students feel connected to a role model. We have a group based curriculum which is aimed at building character, competence, responsibility and empathy in students.
Professional Development: I’RAISE 's professional development program offers a series of training and workshops to teachers, social workers and faculty on how to appropriately respond to distressed students’ needs while also protecting their own mental health. Our training ranges from one hour sessions to two week sessions, virtually and/or in-person on school site.
College Planning: Our program model pushes students to apply to college/universities and creates access for youth to be accepted into the college of their choice. With our connections with universities and colleges including ivy league and HBCUs, our program staff and dean of students will help students build competitive student profiles that includes career specific experience, newly attained knowledge and competencies, networking, and rigorous coursework.
How I'RAISE can work together with your school to support the students' mental and emotional wellness?
I'RAISE offers in-school counseling, group counseling, mentoring, and student support services to enhance student school experience and to provide the tools needed for students to succeed! We foster a positive team approach, which enhances cooperative working relationships amongst school personnel. We follow several key stages in order to ensure a flourishing, effective program at each partner school.
Meeting between school and I’RAISE to understand the needs of the students and staff and learn the principal’s goals for the school in order to access how I’RAISE services can address stated needs.
Exchange of key information between I’RAISE and the school to ensure both parties are clear on next steps, program deliverables, and team roles and expectations.
Program rollout including execution of services, school update meetings, parent update meetings, and staff trainings.
In-depth mid-year review of the year’s program activities noting any successes to date, challenges to implementation, and areas of improvement for a stronger partnership going forward. We will meet initially with the school staff and referral sources to evaluate progress made to determine next steps. We then meet separately with family and parents/guardians to discuss the child's progress.
In-depth final review of the year’s program activities noting any successes, challenges to implementation, and areas of improvement for a stronger partnership going forward. Parents/guardians sign consent for continued program participation.
END-OF-YEAR CEREMONY & SIGNING OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
End-of-year celebration to highlight student's progress and participation in which they receive a certificate of successful completion. School principals then sign a memorandum of understanding. In collaboration with the school, we also begin planning for the next school year.
Our Partnership And Collaboration
Every school is as unique as the neighborhoods in which they are located and the students that walk its hallways. This is why we foster a collaborative team approach to school partnership.
Prior to the 1st day of service, multiple meetings are conducted with the school’s team to fully understand the overall challenges faced by the students, parents and staff. Issues shared during these discussions form the foundation for a targeted program specially designed to concentrate on the challenges at hand within our scope of services.
The I’RAISE team works closely with principals, administrators and teachers to ensure student success throughout the school year. We pride ourselves on becoming part of the school collective in support of the goals outlined by the school’s leadership team.
Our New York City School Partner(s)
Evander Childs Campus
Health Opportunities High School
Bronx Studio for Artists and Writers
P.S./ M.S. 194
Our College/University Partner(s)
The onsite team is led by a licensed social work professionals with significant experience supporting the needs of children and families. Our qualified social workers are prepared to address the needs of students who have experienced loss or trauma, received a diagnosis, exhibit social or emotional challenges and demonstrate academic challenges. Additional support staff includes a social work intern, clinical director, and program director.
The team is fully committed to enhancing the lives of every child referred to the program.
I’RAISE grounds its hiring practices on the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural appreciation and we bring these principles into our therapeutic practices. Team members are trained to understand the impacts of implicit bias and systemic racism upon the populations served to counter those effects and forge the most welcoming, equitable program possible to develop students' self-confidence.