About The Program
Find out more about the Power Program, why it was created, who it was created for, and the framework.
Even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States faced a public health crisis related to the number of youth with mental health needs and the limited availability of providers to address these needs (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020). Schools have been identified as a setting with unique potential for hosting prevention and intervention services (National Association of School Psychologists [NASP], 2015) and, indeed, continue to represent a common entry point for youth to receive mental health services (Juszczak et al., 2003; Zakszeski & DuPaul, 2017). Yet many schools struggle with how best to deliver mental health services, particularly in the context of provider shortages (e.g., NASP, 2021).
Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) frameworks guide schools in allocating prevention and intervention practices of various intensities using data regarding students’ needs (Barrett et al., 2017).
Within this framework, primary prevention practices are provided to all students at Tier 1, and universal screenings of students’ social, emotional, and behavioral risk are conducted to identify students to receive targeted supports at Tier 2. Historically, more attention has been placed on interventions addressing conduct-related concerns as opposed to emotion-related concerns (McIntosh et al., 2014). Recently, several intervention programs targeting emotional symptoms have been developed, evaluated, and made available for use with elementary and middle school populations (Allen et al., 2019; Cook et al., 2015; Zakszeski, 2019). However, few programs with ecological validity for school-based, Tier 2 implementation are available for high school populations, in which mental health needs are both prominent and variable over time (Moore et al., 2019). For such a program to be adopted and its implementation sustained, it must evidence feasibility and contextual fit, particularly given prominent barriers to service delivery in high school settings (Martinez et al., 2019).
The POWER (Positive Outcomes With Emotion Regulation) Program is a school-based intervention program designed to promote emotion regulation skills for high school students with or at risk for developing mental or behavioral health needs. The POWER Program is a transdiagnostic program, meaning it incorporates techniques that have been found to be effective across adolescents with different types of emotion-related mental and behavioral health disorders (e.g., anxiety, mood, trauma- and stressor-related, and conduct disorders). The POWER Program includes empirically supported techniques grounded in motivational interviewing, behavioral skills training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
The POWER Program is designed for implementation:
- In school settings
- With students in grades 7 through 12
- In small groups (4–10 students, ideally those in similar grades grouped together)
- In 40-minute periods
- On a weekly basis for 7 weeks
- By staff with or without formal training in mental and behavioral health service delivery
As a brief, group-based intervention, the POWER Program is well-suited for implementation at Tier 2 within a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework. Although instruction in emotion regulation may be beneficial to all students, the POWER Program is designed specifically for students presenting with or at risk for developing more intensive mental or behavioral health needs.
Here is where you can find us. For all inquiries, email is best.
Rutgers, the State University
of New Jersey
Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Counseling Professions
675 Hoes Lane West
Piscataway, NJ 08854
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School Mental Health Coordinator