Agency provides services in two local schools to meet children where they are
Farmington Hills, MI – May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the nonprofit human services agency Judson Center is addressing the growing mental health struggles among children and youth by offering behavioral health services and parent education workshops in two local schools.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the second leading cause of death among children 10 to 14 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency room visits related to mental health issues also jumped during this time for children and adolescents ages 5 to 17.
“A child’s mental health is an important component of his or her overall well-being,” said Judson Center President and CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster. “Here at Judson Center, we provide integrated care services, which treat the whole person physically, emotionally and mentally. Plus, as a Michigan Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), we offer a community-based approach that emphasizes easy access to behavioral health services by meeting families where they are, either in a clinic or school setting.”
Currently, Judson Center has two clinicians providing behavioral health services at Michigan Collegiate’s elementary and high schools in Warren. Additionally, the agency has begun holding education workshops with parents at Michigan Math & Science Academy, also in Warren, in advance of providing in-school services there.
“At Michigan Collegiate, we have a designated space in the office that is confidential and comfortable,” said Judson Center Chief Operating Officer Susan Salhaney. “A child can come down and request to speak with someone or school personnel may identify a student who’s particularly struggling, talk with the parent, and then with the parent’s permission, make a referral for services. Meanwhile, at Michigan Math & Science Academy, we are stepping into our work with the school by serving parents first. We hold monthly workshops on topics related to mental health and wellness for their children and themselves as parents and caregivers.”
Through the engagement with parents, Judson Center is helping them learn to recognize the signs that their children need support from a mental health perspective. The workshops also give parents the tools to handle these types of challenges.
Judson Center is in talks with two additional school districts in Wayne and Macomb counties to bring behavioral health services there as well.
For more information on Judson Center’s mental health services, call 866-5-JUDSON or visit www.judsoncenter.org. The agency’s online screening tool at www.judsoncenter.org/behavioral-health lets visitors check in on their mental health to determine whether they should seek professional help.
Daphne Hughes, Hughes Creative, LLC
Hannah Gregory, Judson Center