New Program at Phoenix Center Offering Teen Mental Health Support

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — When a child is in a mental health crisis, parents who want to comfort their children are sometimes forced to send them to hospital or the emergency department. But a new program in the Valley from Terros Health is changing that.

“Café 27 is new, we just opened last year, but we have already been able to help over 200 families through our program,” said Kim McWilliams, Senior Director of Clinical Excellence and Children’s Services. at Terros Health.

Children can take life skills lessons, work on school assignments in an innovative computer lab, get tutoring, attend a communication training group or chat with peers, share a meal or play board games. society or supervised computer games.

The outpatient program is for youth ages 12 to 17, and it’s programs like this Ray Young, site director at Terros Health, says we need more in Arizona. “We’re seeing more people coming in who usually wouldn’t,” he said.

McWilliams says it’s likely because parents are now more aware of the signs their children need help. “Sleeping more or less than usual. It could be increased or decreased appetite, it could be social withdrawal not just from family but from friends,” she said.

the America’s Mental Health Report ranks access and quality of care each year. Pre-pandemic data shows Arizona to be among the worst in the nation for youth mental health care. McWilliams says that might not be accurate now. “There has been a movement over the past two years to really increase mental health services for children, access to services,” she said.

McWilliams says the Grand Canyon State has many rural communities, which could compound the problem. “So we know it’s more difficult for a lot of our state because there’s a lot of rural areas. So if you take Phoenix, we have the providers, but the need is so great with the population and our rural people that there are hardly any providers,” she explained.

The center was so successful that Terros Health received federal funding of $600,000 to open a second center in Mesa. For more information, visit terroshealth.org or call 602-389-3660.

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