PRESS RELEASES

RALLY Program Awarded Grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 28, 2002

CONTACT:
Public Affairs
617/855-2110

Belmont, MA - McLean Hospital's RALLY (Responsive Advocacy for Life and Learning in Youth) Program has been awarded a three-year grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation to establish an in-school and after school-based mental health program in the Mary E. Curley Middle School located in Jamaica Plain, Boston

 Gil Noam, EdD

Gil Noam, EdD

According to Gil Noam, RALLY staff will collaborate with a network of community partners, including Hyde Square Task Force and the Big Brother, Big Sister Association of Boston to ensure that the needs of the students at the Curley Middle School are met.

RALLY targets at-risk youth in Boston public middle schools. In each of the schools where the program has been implemented, RALLY staff, called prevention practitioners, 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.

According to Noam, RALLY staff will collaborate with a network of community partners, including Hyde Square Task Force and the Big Brother/Big Sister Association of Boston, to ensure that the needs of the students at the Curley Middle School are met.

"Helping schools meet the mental health needs of students has a number of beneficial outcomes, including increasing academic success and creating better peer relations among children," said RALLY Director Gil Noam, EDd, PhD. "Schools and after-school programs are the ideal settings to mentor students and to detect mental health problems early. We are excited to have new partners in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the Curley Middle School."

RALLY was created eight years ago by 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 in the youngsters it serves. Similar programs, using RALLY as a model, are being planned for a number of cities nationwide.

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