A new developmentalist role: Connecting youth development, mental health, and education



The RALLY practitioner implements RALLY's prevention and intervention strategies, working with all of the students in a class to deliver nonstigmatizing, developmentally based services. The practitioner model is based on the philosophy that relationships are key to allowing students to achieve their full health and academic potential. RALLY practitioners work within the classroom individually, in small groups, and in after-school time. In all of these contexts, RALLY practitioners focus on four major functions: (1) building strong relationships with students, (2) providing developmental and academic support, (3) referring students to services based on their needs and interests, and (4) connecting with teachers, families, clinicians, after-school staff, and other service providers in order to bridge these worlds. RALLY practitioners offer an in-novative model to bring mental health and educational support into schools. They have varying educational backgrounds, from high school graduates, to college students, to graduate interns in mental health or education professions. Training and supervision, however, are crucial in helping practitioners of all levels to create integrated systems of support that take all of a student's interests and needs into consideration while moving toward academic success.