Behavioral Health Innovators, Inc. Announces the Award of a $101,000 Grant for the new Cape Cod PASS Program (Positive Alternative to School Suspension)
Pilot program to launch in 2022
Behavioral Health Innovators, Inc. (BHI) is pleased to announce that the organization is the recipient of a $101,000 grant from the New York-based Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation in support of the new Cape Cod PASS Program. BHI will pilot the PASS program with a few Barnstable County high schools beginning January 2022, with the intention to expand the program across Cape Cod.
The PASS program is designed to address two major problems identified by BHI over six years of research and feedback from community programming: the need for an alternative to school suspension, and a solution to assess, intervene, and connect to services for the Cape’s youth who suffer from mental health and/or substance use disorder. The problem behavior that leads to suspension can indicate an underlying issue. The moment of suspension is also a moment for intervention and a vital opportunity to change outcomes for these students.
“The PASS program gives school staff the opportunity to offer a student an alternative to suspension, and provides an intense, individualized social/emotional learning experience that will greatly benefit the student,” said Stephanie Briody, Co-Founder and CEO of Behavioral Health Innovators. “We are adapting a successful model from the North Shore of Massachusetts to the needs of Cape Cod schools, and we are grateful for the support of the Tower Foundation.”
As has been recently reported in the Cape Cod Times, the need for restorative discipline measures at Cape high schools is significant, especially given that data shows students of color and with disabilities are disproportionately disciplined. BHI’s PASS program provides a restorative discipline alternative while also assessing students for mental health and substance use issues and offering solutions. Rather than a potentially harmful and unproductive punishment, school districts will have an option for students that gives them a way forward. Provided with assessment from a licensed counselor, substance use and mental health education, counseling on healthy coping skills and techniques, and referrals to needed services, these students can return to the classroom and find success.
Briody added, “If we can get ahead of the substance use and/or mental health issues that our community’s teens struggle with more and more, we will open up a future of wellness, health, resilience, and productivity for a generation of young people.”
About Behavioral Health Innovators
Founded in 2016 on Cape Cod, the non-profit Behavioral Health Innovators (BHI) works to develop solutions to address substance use challenges and related mental health issues in the 24-and-under population. Two BHI programs are RecoveryBuild APG (Alternative Peer Group) and Peer Heroes RAMP® Toolkit that is now being used in schools and other student programs. Visit https://bhinnov.org for more information.
About the Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation
The Tower Foundation is a family foundation that supports and collaborates with non-profit organizations and community partners that share the mission of helping children, adolescents, and young people affected by intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health issues, and substance use disorders.