Creating Healthy Communities

Hazelden Betty Ford, BARR Center leaders share insights on what it takes to help young people stay healthy and thrive
Learn About Hazelden Betty Ford

Center City, Minnesota (January 31, 2022) – As the United States faces a youth mental health crisis and strives for greater equity and outcomes in education, empowering and supporting teachers in their efforts to nurture healthy cultures in schools ought to be a top national priority.

That's according to Joseph Lee, MD, president and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and Angela Jerabek, founder and executive director of the BARR Center, who discussed what it takes to help young people stay healthy and thrive in a new video launched and distributed nationally as part of the BARR Center's Leading with Culture series.

"No one loves students more than parents and teachers," said Dr. Lee of Hazelden Betty Ford, the nation's largest nonprofit provider of addiction and mental health care, recovery resources, and related education, prevention, research and advocacy. "The more we invest in helping teachers and school staff harness existing resources to nurture a culture of collaboration, empathy, grace and love, the more we'll see kids overcome challenges; develop resiliency skills; stay on positive, healthy trajectories; and do their best in school, in relationships and in life. The science shows us that, and we have opportunities to support our teachers and parents more."  

"Teachers are incredibly talented and committed, and they love students and know their communities well," added Jerabek of the BARR Center, the nation's leading school improvement model that serves more than 200,000 students in 22 states. "We've seen time and again the powerful impact of unleashing educators' immense talent and passion within a system and culture of intentional collaboration that enables them to provide additional support to students as early and often as possible."

To watch the wide-ranging discussion between Jerabek and Dr. Lee, and to learn more about how Hazelden Betty Ford and the BARR Center partner to support schools and young people, visit

Jerabek's interview with Dr. Lee was the second in the BARR Center's new Leading with Culture series. In the first episode, she interviewed Minnesota Golden Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck.

About BARR Center

BARR Center (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) aims to bring education into the 21st century with intentionally deepened relationships and a data-driven personalized and supportive approach that aligns students, teachers, staff, and families with a unified culture of support and success so that, together, we can build strong schools and communities. For more information, visit

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.