RALLY Program Awarded Grant from Tufts Health Plan

July 16, 2002

Public Affairs

Belmont, MA - McLean Hospital's RALLY (Response Advocacy for Life and Learning in Youth) Program recently received a one-year, $90,000 grant from the Tufts Health Plan Teen Mental Health Grant Initiative.

Gil Noam, EdD, director of RALLY, says the grant will be used to further expand RALLY, an in-school and after school-based mental health program serving at-risk youth in Boston public middle schools. Part of the money will be used to establish a demonstration site at the Grover Cleveland Middle School in Dorchester, where people interested in learning more about the program can see it first hand.

In each of the schools where the program has been implemented, RALLY staff work in classrooms where they provide early detection and interventions, help prevent risky behavior, increase access to mental health services, offer academic support and promote collaboration between schools families, clinicians and community organizations.

RALLY was created eight years ago in collaboration between McLean, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Howard Taft Middle School in Allston-Brighton. Since 1994, the program has served approximately 400 children annually and its evaluations demonstrate positive academic and social outcomes. Similar programs, using RALLY as a model are being planned for New York City and San Francisco.

"Helping the school's meet the mental health needs of students has a number of beneficial outcomes, including raising test scores and creating better peer relations among children," said Noam. "Schools and after-school programs are the ideal settings to mentor students and to detect mental health problems early. We are excited to have a new partners in the Tufts Health Plan."

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