Keeping connected through the screen: how one mental health center is continuing to provide vital services to Vermont children and families during a pandemic
Keeping healthcare accessible right now is important for us all.
When many people hear the term “essential services”, mental health may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Continuing access to mental health support is not only important for everyone’s stress, it is vital for people who are healing after past psychological trauma. NFI VT (Northeastern Family Institute) is a community mental health agency serving Vermont youth, families, and adults and specializes in helping children who struggle with significant emotional and behavioral challenges, often as a result of trauma. NFI prides itself on responding nimbly to challenges, and the current Covid-19 crisis is no exception.
My struggle with anger problems, communication skills, and trust has been a lifelong struggle for me. I was always kicked out of class or suspended from school more than I was there. One of the biggest problems I faced was how to take responsibility for my actions…It took me about four and a half years, a bunch of conflicts, tears, and mostly hard work and dedication for Kindle Farm staff members to get through to me and help me be the person I have become. So, I just wanted to say thanks for not giving up on me and pushing me to my full potential.” – Kindle Farm Graduate
I feel like I am finally coming awake from a deep, heavy slumber. I can stretch a few inches taller and shake the cold out of my limbs. I can feel the warmth of the sun glinting down on me, returning energy to my body. I can see the beauty and the color of life again, hear the sounds of the season all around me. After being lost in the polarities of my worlds not once, not twice, but three times now, I find it necessary to look back and marvel at the journey that has brought me here.
Karen always had an active life full of family, friends, work and community involvement. Now the kids have flown the coop, her years of employment are over and medical conditions limit her ability to get out and about. She found that her feelings of depression and anxiety which used to be manageable became more difficult to bear and her drinking started to get out of control.
Have you ever known someone that seems to run into bad luck but somehow perseveres? Despite multiple losses and hardships, Mark is someone with a rock-solid work ethic. In the summer, he often works two jobs and will walk miles to get to them. He takes pride in his work and has a positive attitude that inspires his co-workers.
Many youths who are in a behavioral or mental health crisis end up in Hospital Emergency Departments
In reviewing available data, United Counseling Service (UCS), the state’s designated agency for Bennington County, and the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) discovered that in the fourth quarter of 2018, 294 child and adolescent crisis assessments were completed in the SVMC Emergency Department. Tragically, 82% of all children and adolescents who presented in the ED in a crisis were discharged home without a treatment plan with the average length of stay being 20 hours.
Both nationally and regionally, most people who have died by suicide have not sought help from a mental health provider in the months leading up to their death, but nearly half had seen a primary care provider within a month of their passing.
The ’99 Faces Project’ is a powerful art exhibit that shows what recovery and treatment of mental illness can look like. Lynda Cutrell, artist of the 99 Faces project, conceived of the idea after a family member was diagnosed with a mental illness.
Legislative Agenda for 2020 - Working Draft 1 Maintaining our Commitment to Vermonters Designated and Specialized Service Agencies (DA/SSAs) are nonprofit community-based agencies doing the work of the state to meet mental health developmental disability and substance...
Healing Trauma Through Wellness: Vermont’s Community Mental Health Therapeutic Schools Convene to Share Expertise in Supporting Students Who Struggle
High Turnout for a Wellness Focus at Therapeutic Schools Conference NFI Regional Director of Schools and Clinical Programming Kym Asam Delivers a Keynote Address at the Therapeutic Schools conference 170 teachers, special educators, behavioral interventionists, and...