In an effort to address mental health and substance abuse issues among 6th-12th graders (approximately 760 students) attending Murdock Middle High School (MMHS) in Winchendon, MA, The Winchendon Project (TWP) was developed in 2007 and implemented from 2008-2012. TWP provided prevention and early intervention for youth suffering from behavioral health problems by increasing awareness and providing access to services and programs in school and the community.
Over the course of the project, TWP experienced a number of accomplishments including:
- Development of systematic processes for coordinating services that moved students smoothly through the system from referral to treatment to follow-up in a non-disruptive, highly confidential manner.
- Yearly increases in the amount of behavioral health services provided (increased from 160 individual clinical hours to 589 individual clinical hours).
- Integration of behavioral health services into the school-based health center in 2011.
- The Learning Supports Facilitator component achieved the broad objective for which it was designed- catalyzing a movement toward an academic environment in which risk and protective factors, and strategies to address them, are now at the forefront of educators’ minds.