Plymouth County

Brockton High’s ‘bryt’ program, a bright spot for students struggling with mental health

BROCKTON, Mass. — Vanessa Rivera is the first Brockton High School student to participate in the Boxer bryt program.

“I do struggle with depression and anxiety, I have struggled with it for a long time,” said Rivera. “It got really bad to a point where I had to go into that hospitalization.”

Vanessa was out of school for about a month while she got support at a psychiatric hospital, and now she says it can be overwhelming to jump back into school.

The bryt program, pronounced “bright,” helps students like Vanessa transition back to school after having a long-term absence.

“When they come back to school, instead of just throwing them into their regular academics, we transition them, we ease them back into things,” said Ramsey Bala, academic coordinator for the bryt program at Brockton High School.

Ramsey Bala helps Vanessa with her academics while Carla Geldres helps with her mental health support.

“If there’s any struggle, anything we can support, anything we can do, we kind of set up goals,” said Geldres, the clinical coordinator for Brockton’s bryt program.

Vanessa says it’s also nice to have a welcoming space at school to take a break and get that extra support when she needs it.

“I honestly think the room is perfect, it’s like so comfortable, the little bean bag over there, it’s a great space and it’s very cute with all the decorations everywhere,” said Rivera.

“Some kids come and go, some kids are here the majority of the day, some kids are here for one period, some kids come just to take a break,” said Bala.

Bala says Brockton High has three students enrolled in the new program with one on the way, but they can support up to twelve students who have had a mental health disruption.

“This program is one of the many positive things to highlight about Brockton,” said Bala.

Bryt is brand new in Brockton thanks to a partnership with the Brookline Center.

The program is in more than 200 schools nationwide, but the goal is to have these mental health resources in every school.

“It’s really helped me, and I know it’s really going to help a lot of other people,” said Rivera.

For more information about the bryt program, click here.

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