Greeley, Colorado, December 15, 2012 – An intensive family- and community-based treatment program in Weld County for high-risk juveniles, Multisystemic Therapy (MST), has recently been recognized for outstanding service. Nominated for the annual “Whatever It Takes” award by the international MST Institute for its success with troubled youth, the North Range Behavioral Health MST program represents one of 500-plus programs in 34 states and 14 countries. David Bernstein, Director of The Center for Effective Interventions, who co-nominated the team for this award with their MST consultant Angelia Watson, says, “The North Range Behavioral Health MST Team consistently meets and then surpasses its goals; they are extraordinary professionals who passionately believe in MST and the importance of implementing the model with fidelity.”
MST addresses “the whole child” to break the cycle of delinquent behavior and is based on consistent and frequent collaboration with key people in the child’s life: family members or caregivers; peers; school professionals such as counselors, teachers, and coaches; law enforcement, such as probation officers and court officials; and human services case managers. North Range Behavioral Health therapists in the MST program build strong relationships with these important figures in the youth’s circle of influence to address problem behaviors and their underlying emotional and behavioral health causes and triggers. “The therapists work very effectively with our students,” Jesse Tijerina, Greeley Central High School Vice Principal, asserts, “because they understand these kids’ challenges and background and place no stigma on them.”
One of the many benefits, according to Rachel Yearous, MST Supervisor, is that families embrace skills that help them with parenting their other children and often share that learning with others. They also learn how to navigate and appreciate a complex, often intimidating but critical, justice and human services system. “These families would often feel like the system was working against them,” she says, “but our partnerships build a supportive environment where the youth and the family learns and succeeds.”
Brian Gustman, school psychologist at Cameron School agrees: “I truly think that the North Range MST team has helped to preserve and strengthen families — and by virtue of this, the educational stability of some of our students. I am confident that the high quality services provided by the MST team will continue to enhance the lives of students and families in our community.”
High-risk juveniles place costly burdens on legal, educational, and child welfare systems, and lack of treatment has serious implications on families, schools, and communities. MST is a strikingly effective program: stringent evaluations of all program elements demonstrate that youth in the program are much less likely to be re-arrested and suffer from substance abuse and mental health problems. Locally, 90% of the youth in the program over the past six months have remained at home, stayed in school or are working, and have not been re-arrested.
The North Range Behavioral Health MST team includes Sarah Hansen, Chad Reznicek, Delon Walker, Maggie VanDenBerg, Rachel Yearous, and Becky Wyperd. Ms. Wyperd notes that the nomination validates the team’s “foundational belief that all things are possible, and an unwavering willingness to do whatever it takes to engage families in reaching their goals. Our families are the stars. We merely empower them to believe in just how bright they can shine.” This nomination places them in the running for the annual “Whatever it Takes” award to be presented in March 2013, at the International MST Conference.
North Range Behavioral Health is the community mental health center and substance abuse provider agency serving the residents of Weld County, Colorado. We are a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to providing professional, culturally competent behavioral health service. We serve more than 11,000 clients each year at over 17 locations throughout Northern Colorado. For more information, please visit www.northrange.org, our main office at 1300 North 17th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80631, or call us at (970) 347-2120.