BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — On a day with no school in Boardman, there was an important meeting. It explained a program that has helped middle school children with mental health issues and had some other districts there to learn about it.
A pilot program in Boardman has had great success, helping 17 students and having no recidivism.
It’s called BRYT, which stands for Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition. A presentation Friday helped teachers understand and even explain it to districts who are considering it.
BRYT helps students who are dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. They get special support, build relationships and help the students feel connected.
It was brought to Boardman by the principal who wanted something different to meet the students’ needs.
“If we continue to do more of the same, we’re going to push them out instead of pulling them in and we always want them to feel a part of the community,” Principal Courtney Tucker said.
“They have so much disorder in their lives,” said intervention specialist Greg McAtee. “This adds a little bit of stability.”
“We’ve had a lot of kids that have utilized the program that [have] not only grown with their social-emotional stability but also with their academic ability within the school day,” McAtee continued.
BRYT is used by 250 schools in eight states. Its been in place for two years at Glenwood Junior High and helped 17 students transition back into the general education track. The school has multiple counselors and a room set aside just for them to use with the students.
“The data we’ve collected kind of speaks for itself,” said Glenwood BRTY counselor Carlo DeAscentis. “It’s been instrumental in helping students transition back from either hospitalization or partial hospitalization back into the regular academic milieu.”
“I’ve been able to follow up with students that are at the high school. You know, many parents have told me the program saved their lives. You know, the kids are thriving now,” DeAscentis said.