BridgeUP:WELLNESS understands that students are more than their grades and test scores. WELLNESS focuses on the best ways to support the whole student and their social, emotional, and mental well-being. Success requires balance, and WELLNESS aims to ensure that every BridgeUP scholar develops skills and techniques to maintain a positive, balanced, and healthy life - and has resources to support any and all challenges that come up during their time with BridgeUP.
Many early symptoms of mental health problems appear in the teen years. We provide resources that are trained and ready to recognize any symptoms and provide support. BridgeUP:WELLNESS also knows that teens are at the best age for learning and developing new skills. We help provide access to well-being and health strategies that our scholars will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
BridgeUP: WELLNESS knows how important the teen years are for mental health and the development of social and emotional learning. Nearly one in five youth and adolescents experience some kind of mental or emotional health disorder. In lower-income communities, a higher percentage of students are at risk of and demonstrate symptoms of mental health disorders. Race also plays a part in mental health for students: 88% of Latinx and 77% of African-American children and youth have unmet mental health needs, compared to 76% of white youth. Additionally, 31% of white children have access to mental health services, compared to 13% of young people of color.
There are currently two programs under BridgeUP:WELLNESS -- one in New York City and another in Houston.
NYC: The New York City branch of BridgeUP:WELLNESS partners closely with BridgeUP:CORE. WELLNESS Fellows have done substantial research on what health concerns CORE students have and have worked to bring workshops on relevant concerns into the dens of individual cohorts.
As health and wellness are highly individual concerns, the CORE Fellows who understand their cohort’s needs best ask WELLNESS Fellows to introduce specific content to their cohorts. CORE students have participated in lessons on healthy eating, stress management, and reproductive health. Wellness fellows also gathered information about community health resources available in and around low income neighborhoods in New York City, which are distributed in English and Spanish, to ensure students and their families have access to any care they may need.
BridgeUP:Wellness created a Youth Board, with 15 students from 6 different Core locations. WELLNESS knows that students know themselves, and can and should lead the conversation on what BridgeUP scholars want and need for their health and wellness education.
HOUSTON: BridgeUP at Menninger targets the greater Houston area and many underserved communities. Already, several groups and programs exist to support and aid the youth of these communities, through sports, academic support, tutoring, and more. Through a partnership with The Menninger Clinic, BridgeUP at Menninger invites existing programs to submit proposals on how they will integrate social and emotional learning into their programs that already support youth who do not typically have access to that kind of support.
In our first year of partnership with The Menninger Clinic, BridgeUP at Menninger in Houston has provided $1 million in grants to seven different programs, potential serving 1,400 students in 28 locations in the greater Houston area. For the 2016-2017 school year, these programs are:
Connect to Character After-School and Summer Program
Kashmere Community BridgeUP Model
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
Pasadena Independent School District
Project GRAD Houston