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Virtual Support During COVID

Lidia Harding
For parents Programs School-based Success Stories Youth and Family Counseliing
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From the 2020 Spring printed newsletter.

Luke felt isolated living with his parents

When schedules and routines were thrown out the window, having consistency in mental health support has been a huge benefit for YES client Luke*, 18. Living with only his mom and dad, Luke has felt very isolated during Washington’s stay-at-home order and the following months.

“I don’t have a lot of people to talk to, so being able to talk to someone twice a week has definitely helped. My mood would be in an absolutely terrible place otherwise. I would be in a very, very bad way if my therapy got cut off for however long this goes on. Being able to have the option to see a therapist has made all the difference,” said Luke.

Shifting to a virtual model

During this overwhelming time, we’ve seen an increase in youth isolation, anxiety, depression, and toxic living situations.

It’s now more important than ever for children and youth to continue receiving critical mental health and substance use services, psychiatric care, and education and prevention programs, which is why in March, within a week of having to shut down our physical YES locations, all YES executives, and staff worked tirelessly to implement virtual access to critical services and programs through TeleHealth technology.

YES is now offering virtual and limited in-person services.

Client succeeds with virtual school-based services

YES has also continued to partner with local school districts to provide virtual ZOOM open office hours and virtual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT groups available to all students at no cost. One 16-year-old student at a local high school has found these services to be particularly helpful and convenient.

“At school, I would only go to someone if I were having a breakdown. But now, it’s more flexible, and I’m not just randomly leaving class, making people wonder where I’m going. It feels easier — the scheduling, the going to them and the leaving them are all easier.”

Free community services

TeleHealth technology has been an effective way for our organization to not only conduct one-to-one counseling sessions but also continue to provide community-based services through virtual support groups and educational opportunities that help youth build the necessary coping skills to manage through this difficult time.

During this crisis, YES has been determined to continue to provide critical programs and services in responsible, creative and flexible ways to serve children, youth, and families, regardless of their ability to pay for services.

Thanks to our generous donors youth have been able to continue to recover, heal, and thrive during this difficult time.  You too can provide lifesaving counseling and treatment today and provide youth with hope for a brighter future! Whether you donate $5 or $500, every gift will make a difference in the life of a child or youth seeking hope and recovery.

Support youth mental health

*At YES, we respect everyone who comes to us for support, and many are working on improving their lives. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.

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