School Mental Health Program Eases Transition from Hospital to Classroom

June 03, 2022

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

New England Public Media

A program is helping kids readjust to school after mental health-related absences. Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) is designed to offer a safe, supportive environment for high school students transitioning from health care settings to the classroom. In partnership with schools, the program is run out of classrooms usually staffed by a mental health clinician and academic coordinator. Staff develop plans with each student to gradually transition them back to a regular school schedule over the course of one to three months. In addition to helping students catch up academically, BRYT helps foster belonging and connectedness, said social worker Karen Peters, the BRYT clinical director at Amherst Regional High School. “When I come down and I see a bunch of kids around a table playing a game of cards, kids who are in different social circles, or kids who will say, ‘I don’t fit anywhere,’ and they’re all around the same table—that to me feels like medicine,” said Peters. Right now, the BRYT program is partnering with more than 200 high schools in seven states.

Spark Extra! Read about a hospital program that helped teens transition between inpatient care, other health care settings, and their community.