Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $999,000)
The Clifford Beers Clinic (CB) is seeking to undertake a proactive, public health approach to the issue of school safety and violence prevention by establishing and implementing a comprehensive and systematic community-based threat assessment system that uses early interventions to keep students safe in New Haven, CT. The goal is to intervene earlier, before an issue or incident becomes a crisis. New Haven is the second-largest city in CT. 42.4% are Black/African-American, 13.7% are White Non-Hispanic, and 40.2% are Hispanic. Data indicates that utilization of mental health services of New Haven children is lower than statewide averages, due to lack of access to services. New Haven has more minority students than the statewide average, have higher rates of chronic absenteeism, higher poverty rates, and lower 4-year graduation rates than statewide averages. The proposed project, called the Community Based Threat Assessment System, is comprised of the following components: 1) Implement a multi-disciplinary student threat assessment system to help school personnel identify, assess and support students who present a potential risk for violence toward others; and 2) Promote student mental wellness through the implementation of appropriate interventions and referrals, with a focus on youth suicide/bullying/harassment prevention efforts in schools. The proposed program will utilize the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) risk assessment instrument designed to structure appraisals of violence risk and risk management plans for adolescents. In the project, the CB is collaborating with the New Haven Public Schools, the New Haven Police Department, the CT Violence Intervention Project, and the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters -Judicial Branch, State of CT.