POSTED BY SBCS | Mar, 27, 2024 |

We extend our heartfelt thanks to KPBS for spotlighting Shea Prophet and the critical need for mental health services in schools through the “Screening to Care” program at SBCS. Led by Prophet, this initiative targets early mental health intervention, tailoring support to help students navigate emotional challenges before they escalate. It also reaches out to caregivers, ensuring a supportive home environment for comprehensive care. This pioneering program is a key step in preventing the school-to-prison pipeline, paving the way for a brighter future for at-risk youth.

Transforming Lives Before They’re Lost: Shea Prophet’s Vision for Early Intervention

In a world where mental health struggles among young people are rising alarmingly, Shea Prophet, a former Navy correctional officer turned school therapist, stands as a beacon of hope and change. Serving as director at the “Screening to Care” program at SBCS, Prophet is on a mission to identify and support students grappling with behavioral and emotional challenges long before they reach high school.

Drawing on his own experiences growing up with limited resources and role models, as well as his profound insights from his military and correctional officer career, Prophet uses new and innovative approach to mental health intervention. Through a comprehensive screening process involving 21 pivotal questions, the program carefully identifies students in need of assistance and categorizes them into tiers, each corresponding to tailored support mechanisms.

For those in tier two, the focus is on group learning for vital skills like conflict resolution and emotional regulation. Meanwhile, tier three students, considered at high risk, are connected with therapists and additional resources aimed at addressing more severe challenges. This approach not only increases access to mental health resources but actively breaks down the barriers preventing students from seeking help.

But the initiative doesn’t stop at the school gates. Recognizing the critical role of a supportive home environment, Prophet and his team extend their outreach to caregivers, ensuring that the progress made within school walls isn’t undone once students step back into their homes. This  strategy underscores the program’s commitment to fostering enduring wellness and resilience among the youth.

As mental health crises among students intensify, underscored by voices within the community like high school junior Matthew Quitoriano, the need for comprehensive, preemptive programs like “Screening to Care” has never been more pressing. Quitoriano’s observations about the pressures of academic achievements and the lack of adequate mental health education echo the urgency for initiatives that prioritize well-being over grades.

“Screening to Care” represents a pivotal shift towards addressing mental health as an integral part of the educational journey, much like physical health. The program not only seeks to equip students with the tools they need to navigate their emotional and behavioral challenges but also aims to transform the broader narrative around mental health support in schools.

As we continue to navigate these challenging times, the work of Shea Prophet and his team serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that early intervention and compassionate support can have on the lives of our young people. It’s a call to action for communities everywhere to prioritize mental health with the same urgency and commitment as we do academic success.

Together, we can ensure that no child is left to face their darkest moments alone. For support or more information about the “Screening to Care” program, please reach out to Shea Prophet at . Remember, it’s never too early to make a difference in someone’s life.

Watch the segment on KPBS.

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