Red Hook Initiative (RHI) wants to improve its Youth Empowerment Pipeline, which provides youth ages 12-14 with developmentally targeted academic support, job readiness and leadership training, part-time employment, college access, and emotional health support. RHI’s free emotional health support offers wellness check-ins with youth to identify and address issues proactively before a crisis emerges. Licensed counselors run emotional health groups, and short- and long-term counseling are provided as needed. Many participants do not engage in emotional health services even when they are facing a difficult situation. Some reasons why youth don’t participate are: the stigma attached to mental illness, and the real perception that social workers will call the authorities and make a problem worse. RHI proposes to engage consultants with expertise in Transformative Healing and Restorative Justice to design and deliver training for RHI’s youth program staff, counseling team, and peer counselors. Following the training period, restorative justice and transformative healing will be integrated into all aspects of RHI’s programming.
This grant will support improvements to Red Hook Initiative’s programming to better engage program participants in emotional health services.