BHSN Behavioral Health Services North, Inc. A United Way Agency - Serving our community since 1874 A United Way Agency
serving our community since 1874
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For more information
on specific programs for your school:

Mark Lukens, Chief Executive Officer: 563-8206 • Email

Gregg Dahlen, Adventure-Based Counseling: 561-1767 • Email

Patricia Harford, Second Step:
563-7208 • Email

Bonnie Black, Student Assistance: 563-8293 • Email


School-Community Agency partnerships have become an important response to the ever increasing challenges facing students and their families. Behavioral healthcare services delivered in the school environment can provide the timely access, relevance and cost effectiveness needed to assist students and families achieve success.

For five years, BHSN collaborated with various service providers and school districts as part of the "Safe Schools/Healthy Students" federal grant coordinated through Champlain Valley Educational Services. OurAdventure-Based Counseling, and our Child/Family Clinic continue to provide services in a variety of school districts in Clinton and Essex counties. The list of schools we serve grows each semester, so contact us, if you're not sure if we serve yours. If you are in any of the following school districts, these services may be available to your child:

  • AuSable Valley Central

  • Moriah Central

  • Northeastern Clinton Central

  • Northern Adirondack Central

  • Saranac Central

  • Ticonderoga Central

What kinds of services or combination of programs would be best suited for your school? BHSN would be pleased to assist you in an assessment of your school’s environment, students' needs and resources. Clearly defining student and school goals, as well as desired outcomes, is critical in designing intervention strategies and measuring their effectiveness.

BHSN is prepared to provide our services to area schools, students and families through the following programs.


ABC is a therapeutic group activities program which provides after-school, evening, weekend as well as summer services to at-risk youth and their families. A wide range of activities includes problem initiatives, ropes courses, rock climbing, backpacking, and community service. These activities are utilized as an experiential framework from which to teach children and families how to work well with others.

ABC is a strengths-based approach that builds self-esteem, judgment and decision-making skills, communication skills, conflict resolution, pro-social peer affiliation and family team building. ABC operates in collaboration with several area school and youth service providers. ABC is funded, in part, by a grant from the United Way of Clinton and Essex counties.

ABC was identified in a national research project by Access Measurement Systems (AMS) and Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) as the single most effective treatment program for ADHD out of over 300 agencies involved in the research and, as a result, received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the New York State Office of Mental Health in December of 2001.1

1 Holcomb, W. & Bietman, B et al. 1998. "Use of a New Outcome Scale to Determine Best Practices," Psychiatric Services, 49, 583-585, 595.


MVP is a leadership program sponsored by Northeastern University Center for Sport in Society that motivates student athletes and student leaders to play a central role in solving problems that historically have been considered "women's issues": rape, battering, and sexual harassment. This program motivates men and women to work together in preventing gender violence by utilizing a unique bystander approach. The MVP program views student athletes and student leaders not as potential perpetrators or victims, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers. This emphasis reduces the defensiveness men often feel and the helplessness women often feel when discussing issues of men's violence against women.

The MVP approach does not involve finger pointing nor does it blame participants for the widespread problem of gender violence. Instead, it sounds a positive call for proactive preventative behavior and leadership.

To find out more about this effective and innovative program, click here.


Second Step is a well established and researched Violence Prevention Curriculum designed to reduce impulsive and aggressive behavior in children (rated by CDC and US Dept of Education as one of the most effective prevention programs in the nation). Its curriculum includes lessons designed to be developmentally appropriate for the age of the child from preschool through Grade 8. The lessons are each broken into three parts: discussion, activity, and role play. In addition, Middle School-aged students also participate in in-depth discussions, use overhead transparencies, and watch video segments demonstrating good behavioral strategies.

The 20-30 scripted lessons taught in the classroom are designed to develop skills in empathy, impulse control, and appropriate expression of anger. The program is flexible to meet only once a week or a few days per week (e.g., two lessons a week would provide 10-15 weeks of curriculum, depending on grade level). Teachers who have used Second Step have found that the program increases time available for other subjects and activities because less time is spent on dealing with student disruptions and interpersonal conflicts.


Because student learning is the mission of the school, problems that inhibit learning become problems for the school. Students do not learn as well when preoccupied with family conflict/violence, parental alcoholism, coping with stress or change or when they’re feeling hung over because of alcohol or other drug abuse. School-based Student Assistance Programs, including the Crisis Team Program, represent relatively new but important prevention and early intervention efforts to assist at-risk students. Student Assistance Programs can be planned and implemented in any school when administrators and staff are committed to the concept.

The Counselor-model SAP is a confidential and free service offered to all students and their immediate families. It serves as a link between the school and a network of local community agencies as a school-based response to students with behavioral, social or emotional problems interfering with their ability to function in a school setting. The SAP provides students with short-term counseling, comprehensive assessments to assist them in determining what their needs are, and referral services (if needed) to direct them to community resources. The Counselor is based within the school building in a confidential setting so that students may arrange meetings during their lunch period, study halls or after school.

For more information on specific programs for your school

BHSN, Chief Executive Officer, Mark Lukens: 563-8206 • Email

Adventure-Based Counseling, Gregg Dahlen: 561-1767 • Email

Second Step, Patricia Harford: 563-7208 • Email

Student Assistance Program, Bonnie Black: 563-8293 • Email

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