Turn 2 Us

Turn 2 Us

Turn 2 Us (T2U) is a mental health promotion and prevention program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in partnership with Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Derek Jeter, and public elementary schools in Washington Heights/Inwood. Derek Jeter is the co-owner of the Miami Marlins, and CEO and Founder of the Turn 2 Foundation. Mental health concerns are rising among youth. According to the National Association of Mental Illness (2019), nearly 1 in 6 youth have mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders. Often challenges brought upon by poverty, poor quality housing, or immigration-related stressors can compromise their ability to overcome or manage mental health conditions.

Turn 2 Us was developed in 2001 in response to:

  1. high rates of referrals from local elementary schools to the pediatric children’s psychiatric emergency room; and
  2. cumulative and chronic demographic stressors within the community that elevate risk factors for at-risk behaviors and mental health disorders.

Since its inception, it has reached over 12,500 students, parents/caregivers, and school personnel in Northern Manhattan.

We recognize that Northern Manhattan amplifies resilience in overcoming such challenges. In support of their resiliency, Turn 2 Us provides an array of services to promote the wellbeing of youth in our community.

Our Mission

Turn 2 Us is dedicated to promoting mental health and academic success in at-risk children. We hope to empower the entire school community (students, parents/caregivers, and school staff) to engage in healthy lifestyle practices that promote wellbeing. The program aims to enhance the mental health literacy of school personnel and parents/caregivers, so they are best equipped to ensure our youths’ progress emotionally, socially, and academically.

“Through the program, through the sports, the basketball, the baseball, many of our students who were not interested in academics decided ‘maybe, you know what, it’s worth coming to school”
Ms. Martin PS4 Assistant Principal

Our program outcomes include:

  • Study participant outcomes
    • 40% decrease of depression/anxiety symptoms and 21% decrease of disruptive symptoms in high risk students
    • 20% decrease of mental health stigma in school staff
    • 17% increase in school's staff confidence in addressing students' mental health needs
    • 15% decrease in absences
    • 15% improved standardized test scores in English, Language Arts and 7% in Math
  • Select school outcomes
    • 60% decrease in multiple unscheduled guidance visits over 2 years
    • 60% decrease in disciplinary actions over 2 years


Evelyn Montañez, Ph.D. LCSW
Program Manager