School-Based Youth Services Programs Provide Critical Mental Health Services to Teens

September 30, 2019

New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ Assistant Commissioner Niurca Louis recently visited the Brick Township School Based Youth Services Program (SBYSP) to connect with program staff and learn about the history and successes of School Based Programs which serve nearly 30,000 students state-wide in 97 school districts.  Preferred Behavioral Health Group has operated SBYSPs since 1988 in the Lakewood School District and since 2000 in the Brick School District. 

During this visit, school officials and agency leaders discussed the importance of maintaining strong prevention and intervention services to youth by way of School Based Programs since school is where they spend so many hours of their adolescent years on a regular basis. According to Dave Seegert, PBHG School-Based Program Director, “There is no better place to access critical mental health services that also build meaningful social connections with peers and adults than School Based Programs.  Our model breaks down all the barriers and obstacles to receiving effective treatment.  Students can access our programs free of charge, on their own terms, for 9-hours a day, 12-months a year.  This level of involvement has proven to be the success of School Based for over 3 decades.”

For more information on these programs, contact Dave at

Caption: From left to right: Bill Kleissler, Brick Township High School Principal, Dave Seegert, PBHG Director of School Based Programs, Niurca Louis, DCF Assistant Commissioner, PBHG CEO Mary Pat Angelini and Tara Chalakani, PBHG Vice President of Mental Health Services for Youth and Families.