Although every program is unique, we always stick to the following five core principles:
Be available to help all students, regardless of their ability to pay.
We serve financially disenfranchised communities where free services at school are the only realistic way to reach kids. We also serve financially stable communities where many families have the resources, but other barriers such as stigma, transportation and insurance limits get in the way.
Partner with schools that value mental health in the educational process.
The only way to achieve our shared goals is to create a strong working relationship between our agency and the school. To do so, we set up shop right on campus and integrate the CASSY team with the school’s staff. Together, we create a mental health resource team that is as much a part of the school as the guidance department and special education.
Tailor our programs to meet the unique needs of the population we will serve.
We factor in the unique characteristics of a given school when creating any new program. For example, our staffing for a 2,000-student high school with a single site will be quite different from that for a district with a dozen elementary school sites. We have also found that bilingual therapists are essential for some schools.
Hire, train and mentor professional therapists who love working with youth.
We use experienced therapists to tackle our clients’ issues rather than using our clients’ issues to train inexperienced therapists. We believe the right approach is to pay for high quality therapists, mentor them in their professional growth and give them a long-term career path at CASSY.
Commit to making a difference.
We take great pride in improving the lives of the students we support. We will always see each case through whether we handle it internally, refer it out, or both. When there is a mental health crisis on campus, we will be there leading the way. We expect our partner schools to put us in charge and rely on our expertise.