It is said that childhood trauma will be the number one health risk in the county. Studies show that childhood trauma significantly and negatively impacts their physical health. Often the teachers/administrators on school campuses are keenly aware which children need to see a mental health professional.
Internationally, there is a cry for children to have access to mental health professionals. Children in our commute are navigating stresses and trauma far beyond what their tender years would justify. They urgently need access to trauma recovery care and professional mental health providers. If they are covered b an insurance provider or medical, too often there is a large waiting list and appointments are set months out. Children cannot wait this long.
As City Hope works with our local school districts and first responders to be there when children are forced to navigate acute and chronic crisis/trauma our volunteers can be the bridge to oﬀer these children mental health services. There are many therapists and counselors that are willing to reduce the cost of their services, but the hourly rate is still often unaﬀordable for the families. With Access for Success, we can provide scholarships for these children, and when appropriate their family members, to obtain the needed counseling/therapy.
Children can be referred by School Staﬀ, First Responders, or other leaders in the community. A parent must consent to the mental health care. If appropriate and desired by the school, parents may be asked to engage in community service at their local school in exchange for the scholarship to counseling. This is designed to provide the awareness of value of this service. Sometimes if things are free, they are not valued and appointments are missed. If families have to invest, they tend to be more committed to the process. Additionally, parents may be asked to pay a portion if they are able, again just to confirm the value of the service. These options would not be used to block therapy in any way, rather just to enhance the experience where possible.
Individuals would be approved for an initial 5 sessions. Based upon attendance, and progression, additional sessions could be approved. Scholarships could be approved to pay for co-pays if the client has insurance but cannot aﬀord the copays. Additionally, they could be used to secure an appointment with a private clinician. City Hope has clinicians willing to see our clients/referrals at a reduced rate to ensure these scholarship funds help as many children/ families as possible.