Young People Need Our Support
In a given year, 20% of young people experience mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, academic stress, low self-esteem, and substance abuse. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these kids do not receive the treatment they need. Left untreated, many teens contemplate suicide, the third leading cause of death for young people today.
Our mission is to de-stigmatize mental health services and make supporting students’ social and emotional well-being the norm in our local schools. We want to provide all students with the continuity of support they need, from the first day of kindergarten until they graduate from high school, to be successful in school and in life.
The good news is that quality treatment can help. The challenge, however, is connecting these kids with the treatment they need. Families often find it difficult to find and pay for qualified professionals, let alone getting these kids to the therapist’s office. Studies show that students are far more likely to seek counseling when it is available at their school, especially if it is free.
That’s Where CASSY Comes In
We are a nonprofit agency that partners with schools to provide professional mental health services to students in their academic setting. Our therapists are compassionate, extremely competent and conveniently located right on campus. All services are free to the student and their parents. With CASSY, there are no cost, transportation, or insurance barriers to prevent students from getting the help they need. CASSY has proven that when you put highly qualified postgraduate therapists on the school campus, students will come in and get help. In fact, 20-25% of the entire student body will come in. Some once or twice. Some every week for years. Being school-based is absolutely the key.
By removing the social and emotional obstacles that make it difficult to focus on academics, we give young people a chance to get the most out of the educational opportunities that are provided to them. When we improve students’ social and emotional wellbeing, academic achievement tends to follow.
As an innovative nonprofit agency, we are both ambitious and pragmatic. Our mission is to destigmatize mental health services and make supporting students’ social and emotional well-being the norm in our local schools. We envision a world where all kids get the social and emotional support they need to be successful in school and in life. At the same time, we understand that creating such a utopia will take a serious commitment from our schools, financial support from our communities, and tireless work by our therapists day in and day out.
Our Work So Far
From a single Ravenswood City School District summer school program in 2009, we now provide a year-round mental health safety net for over 33,000 students at 43 schools in East Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Palo Alto, San Jose (Moreland School District), Saratoga and Campbell (Campbell Union High School District).
CASSY was the recipient of the 2014 Palo Alto Council of PTAs Honorary Service Award for our work in PAUSD elementary schools. In 2011, CASSY won the prestigious Glenn Hoffman Award for Excellence for our work at Los Gatos High School during the 2009-10 school year. This award is presented to programs in Santa Clara County that have a significant impact on students and are innovative, creative, replicable and sustainable. All of our growth to date has been organic, based on incredibly positive word of mouth and a reputation for quality that is recognized by awards such as the Glenn Hoffman Award.
We have established strong partnerships in several Silicon Valley communities. Now our job is to ensure that kids in these communities have the support they need from kindergarten through high school. Our current focus is on building depth within each community, maintaining the high quality for which we are known and investing in our operational infrastructure to ensure that we can continue to expand our reach.