Jeana Bracey is Director of School and Community Initiatives at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc., a CSCH partner organization. Bracey’s background and training is as a clinical community psychologist and her work focuses on improving policy and systems work across Connecticut, particular to children’s mental health. Bracey attributes her motivation to work on these issues to disparities within Connecticut. “In Connecticut, even though we have a large amount of resources, not all of the people that need those resources have access to them,” says Bracey.
At CHDI, one of the projects that Bracey leads is the Connecticut School-based Diversion Initiative (SBDI). The project’s goal is to keep kids in school, out of the juvenile justice system and to link them with appropriate needed behavioral health services and supports. Overall, her work at CHDI is about improving whole mental health services broadly and impacting systems change for behavioral health in Connecticut.
Involvement with CSCH
Bracey first became involved with CSCH through her work with Sandra Chafouleas as part of the Trauma-Informed School Mental Health Workgroup in Connecticut. CSCH and CHDI were both sponsors of the 2017 Symposium on Trauma-Informed School Mental Health.
“I love the work that has been done by CSCH and the focus on the whole child, whole school, whole community approach,” says Bracey. The WSCC model is “very consistent with the approach that I have always taken with my work and that is the underlying foundation for the work we do more broadly at CHDI. It’s a bigger picture systems-level approach, where there’s integration across components that often are seen as separate.”
Bracey adds, “Kids can’t learn until they’re ready to learn and part of that means coming to the table—being healthy, having access to what they need to help them improve and making sure that we as a system are doing what we can to make that happen.”
Bracey is a busy basketball and dance mom of three and loves to do Zumba when she can.