Help Save School Based Programs in New Jersey!

Our highly regarded school based programs in Brick and Lakewood, along with all of the other school based mental health programs in New Jersey, have been eliminated due to state budget cuts. We have until September 30th to advocate for reinstatement of this funding. Now, more than ever, our children need mental health services and these programs have proven direct, immediate, and long-term benefits. You can help. Sign this petition started by PBHG School Based Counselor Nick Spanola – and take a look at other ways to advocate to our legislators and the media here (thanks to New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. for putting these resources together.) Please share!

Read Justin’s impact story here:

Here are some facts about the School Based Programs in New Jersey:

  • School Based Youth Services Programs (SBYSP) first began in 1987 as a pilot with 12 programs. Today, there are 91 programs in all 21 counties.
  • Preferred Behavioral Health Group manages 4 programs: Brick Township High School, Brick Memorial High School, Veterans Memorial Middle School, and Lakewood High School.
  • SBYSP operates 12-months a year, including school breaks, and after-school hours to student enrichment programs and counseling.
  • SBYSP is completely free and confidential.
  • In addition to providing crisis intervetion, suicide screening, substance abuse screening, individual counseling, group counseling, class presentations, peer leadership, summer transition programming for incoming freshmen, and monthly youth prevention campaigns, SBYSP links students/families to other community resources providing a safety net outside of school hours.
  • SBYSP maintains a Community Liaison Board group of stakeholders from various local and state officials, agency providers, school staff, students, and parents.
  • The major source of referrals to SBYSP are made from Guidance departments freeing them up to conduct scheduling, college planning, testing, and scholarship responsibilities.  
  • Last fiscal year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) Brick SBYSP provided counseling to a total of 937 students out of 3671 total students in the 3 hosting schools which equates to approximately 25% of the student population in those buildings overall.  Over 3000 total students participated in another format of our programming known as an “event.” Lakewood High School SBYSP counselled 350 students (27%).
  • During the COVID homeschool quarantine, all 4 SBYSP sites provided daily outreach and telehealth individual and group counseling.