"Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)" from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, https://www.nctsn.org/resources/parent-caregiver-guide-to-helping-families-cope-with-the-coronavirus-disease-2019
Making a Difference in 2019
Your support is invaluable for enabling our many programs to run. In 2019, we were able to offer more programs and new initiatives than ever thanks to your help. In addition to our ongoing counseling services for youth and families, groups, parent talks, and our in-school programs, we have launched and expanded a number of supplementary programs and initiatives this past year:
Increased Outreach Efforts
Many young people are struggling to cope with the pressures of everyday life, in addition to unexpected struggles that occur. National studies have shown increases in mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression, in addition to struggles with newer issues such as social media overuse/misuse and vaping.
This year, we expanded our outreach initiatives, so local youth are aware that they're not alone and that we are here to help. In September, we honored Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by launching a caring messages campaign: #LMCCCcares. We encouraged our clients, local youth, and community members to write messages to people they care about telling why they're grateful they're here. Both people who completed the cards we provided and the recipients reported increased feelings of connection and reduced isolation.
In response to our expanded outreach, we have seen a rise in requests for services. Your continued support will enable us to meet this increasing need and help us keep our waiting list as short as possible, so our local children and families can receive the support they deserve.
Supporting Our Spanish-Speaking Neighbors
Due to the worsening immigration crisis, the Hispanic members of our community need our support more than ever. La Casa, our program for local Spanish-speakers, was founded in 2016 from a generous donation from a local family. This year, we received unprecedented requests for individual services and have expanded our collaboration with the Community Resource Center (CRC) and the local schools to offer increased supplementary services.
Our La Casa staff psychotherapist Leslie Peña-Sullivan, LCSW, is an NYU researcher who specializes in immigration trauma, and lectured both nationally and internationally on this topic in 2019. Thanks to her knowledge and collaboration with experts in this field, we have been able to cross some of the usual barriers to treatment in this community and offer targeted services for the specific challenges faced by Hispanic immigrants.
Expanding Our DBT Programming
Your support has enabled us to create our own unique DBT programs tailored to the particular needs of this community. With your help, we are able to offer scholarships to these programs, so all community members can benefit regardless of financial circumstances.
Our latest new program tackled the rise of mental health struggles among college students, extensively documented in the national news. We have long been focused on prevention services to ensure that our local youth thrive as they move into the next stages of their lives. This summer we expanded our Circle programming and offered a DBT-informed series of workshops for local rising college freshmen, which participants shared helped them feel more prepared for the big transition.
This year, we also created a 4-week Core Skills for Effective Parenting workshop, which we offered multiple times. This shorter program has enabled an increased number of local parents (and their families!) to benefit from our programming.
Creating Community at LMCCC
We are committed to supporting ALL of our community members, whatever stage of life they are in. In response to the lonliness we see many community members struggle with, we have created new groups as part of our Community Connections initiative, focused on bringing together people with similar challenges and interests. Our initial group for single mothers of teenage children has provided local women with a much-needed source of connection, and we look forward to offering more groups in the new year with your support.
Let’s see what we can do together in 2020!