KidsTLC program provides services to children and families living with mental illness

Christine Fuhrman, KidsTLCBy: Christine Fuhrman, KidsTLC

Braden is a 16 year old who, like many of the kids of his own age, is keeping busy this summer enjoying the sunshine and the break from school. What many of Braden’s peers may not know about him when he returns to school this fall is that he spent much of his spring and summer in KidsTLC’s PRTF (editor's note: Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program) working day in and day out addressing the trauma he experienced throughout much of his upbringing. Braden’s parents had struggles of their own and as a result Braden experienced a great deal of neglect as well as physical abuse throughout his childhood.

He kept much of what was happening to him to himself, which lead to multiple suicide attempts and a great deal of unresolved pain, anger and confusion. Braden has spent the last several months in KidsTLC’s PRTF where he courageously opened up about the pain and abuse he has endured throughout his 16 years of life thus far. While this has been anything but an easy process for him, he has begun to develop his own self-confidence and understanding of what has happened to him. While Braden has participated in a great deal of intensive treatment, he is able to recognize that his recovery is ongoing and he will need continued support as he moves back into his community and reintegrates into the “real world.” Braden has been adopted by his aunt and uncle who all agree that in order for Braden and the family to continue to heal and move forward towards a bright future, continued therapy will be essential to reach these goals.

KidsTLC, kids in the communityWhile it’s easy to get on the internet and find numerous counseling centers, many families are unable to afford the cost of outpatient treatment not to mention the fact that the mental health system for kids is overwhelmed; which has led to waiting lists that simply aren’t reasonable for those kids and families who need services provided in a timely manner.

Thanks to a generous grant from he Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, KidsTLC has the right people in the right place at the right time to help Braden and countless others throughout their journey toward healing and into a bright, fulfilling future.

This grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City will afford KidsTLC the opportunity to hire qualified mental health professionals to begin outpatient mental health services to children and families in the fall/winter of 2012. These mental health services will be extended to existing clients as well as those children and families in all of our communities. This funding opportunity has afforded KidsTLC’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program to be able to provide services to those with or without insurance, providing a safety net of timely therapy and medication management for those with mental illness.

KidsTLC’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program will be providing an array of therapeutic and psychiatric services including: Individual Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Medication Evaluations & Medication Management and Parental Education and Support groups.

On behalf of kids like Braden, all of us at KidsTLC thank the Health Care Foundation for providing the funding that will truly transform lives in crisis.

Braden is a fictional character. This story is a representation of the many kids we see at KidsTLC and the many kids that will benefit from our Outpatient Services.

This post originally appeared on the KidsTLC blog, reposted with permission.



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