By Carol Warfield
JACKSON – Kevin, a 16-year-old, was displaying a nonchalant attitude, short attention span, depression and feelings of hopelessness. When his mother saw a social media post stating “My end is near” she knew his feelings had turned to possible suicidal tendencies and called Catholic Charities Hope Haven for help. Kevin met with a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with mixed anxiety disorder.
Catholic Charities Hope Haven program provides home-based counseling and service coordination to families with children ages 3 to 18 in crisis in the Hinds, Madison and Rankin county areas. Support is provided in both school and community environments. Services are available to families whose children have a mental health diagnosis or would be eligible for care upon evaluation by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Counseling services are designed to assist the family in resolving a crisis and keeping the youth at home. Services are typically provided for a three to six-month period.
Hope Haven utilizes wraparound Mississippi Youth Programs Around the Clock (MYPAC), a family driven process that utilizes the strengths of a child and family, as well as, their support system to create an individualized plan to meet their needs and reach desired outcomes. Wraparound revolutionizes the way in which Catholic Charities works with families, communities and service providers.
For Kevin, the Catholic Charities Hope Haven wraparound facilitator met with his family to explore his feelings and worked with them to develop better communication methods. Kevin learned new coping skills to deal with his emotions and the facilitator helped Kevin expand his activities at church and school by creating a community of support.
In addition, Hope Haven offers a crisis line which is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Crisis services include telephone and mobile response, as well as outreach services. Mobile crisis services involve on-site intervention of a crisis and telephone services involve phone support and/or referral information to community resources.
It is Hope Haven’s belief that families and youth deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, at no time more so than when they are facing a crisis. When a youth has a serious emotional disturbance, the youth and each family member face many challenges and they deserve compassion and support as they face them. Catholic Charities recognizes the importance of family and community and works diligently to help families resolve crises without disrupting the family unit. Home and neighborhood-based interventions and collaborating with families’ informal and formal support systems are key program components.
With help from Hope Haven, Kevin’s social skills improved, along with positive self-esteem and self-worth. He learned to openly communicate his feelings and now seems to be very happy and upbeat. Today he is in a better place emotionally and mentally. Kevin has improved his grades and has a healthy social life. He has a bright future ahead!
Hope Haven staff is always guided by what is in the best interest of the youth and families. Services are specifically tailored to youth and family’s needs, to create hope and opportunity in those situations which have traditionally been viewed as difficult. For more information on Hope Haven call: 601-376-0500 or visit www.catholiccharitiesjackson.org.
(Carol Warfield is the program director of Hope Haven at Catholic Charities Jackson)