Turn 2 Us- New York Presbyterian Hospital
It is the mission of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP), one of the country’s largest comprehensive academic medical centers, to lead in the provision of world class patient care, teaching, research and service to local, state, national and international communities, with a special focus on its own neighborhood communities of Washington Heights, Inwood, and Harlem. The Hospital is committed to addressing the specific needs of its local population and offers no fewer than 20 highly effective community health clinics and/or programs, including Turn 2 Us, an elementary school based mental health promotion and prevention program.
It is the mission of Turn 2 Us (T2U), founded with support from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, to provide Northern Manhattan elementary school children with specially designed, targeted, high quality programming to mitigate prevalent mental health risk factors and promote mental health and physical well being. Currently on site at Public School 4M (PS4), where there are 750 students, T2U teaches the development of mental health habits that help the students properly cope with the often extreme daily stressors associated with living in a densely populated and economically distressed urban environment---stressors such as poverty, domestic violence, foster care placement, and chronic family illnesses.
Over the years, Turn 2 Us has developed interventions that have been embedded in the school culture and are offered to all students, regardless of their risk level. One-hundred percent of the students and staff, in all settings participate in school/classroom-wide interventions in the following:
- in-class mindfulness exercises and skills-building in self-efficacy, coping, and conflict resolution;
- anti-bullying and test-readiness assemblies
- teacher/parent psychoeducation workshops, staff consultations, monthly wellness challenges;
- father-child night events
- crisis consultation and referrals; and
- education and wellness activities, including enhanced physical activities such as upper grade Girls and Boys Basketball League and Baseball League involving 8 Washington Heights elementary schools.
The universal approach is also meant to prevent students who may be at risk—students who are socially withdrawn or exhibiting other behaviors—from developing acute mental health or other behavioral issues. This 30 percent of the school population receive specially designed secondary prevention interventions, for example:
- in-school student mentorship and parent-teacher consultations;
- after school parent and child empowerment through theatre (Drama Club);
- afterschool therapeutic visual arts—painting, sculpting, and drawing;
- afterschool structured team sports for boys and girls and
- crisis intervention and follow up.