FSPA supports mental health at Boys and Girls Club

02/28/2019 11:53 am

Through support from an FSPA ministry grant and a portion of our #GivingTuesday 2018 gifts, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater La Crosse is able to provide mental health intervention for at-risk youth.

Mental health has received increasing attention over the last several years. While people of all ages struggle with their mental health, treatment can be especially effective when mentoring and behavioral health programs are focused on youth populations. One in every four to five youth meet criteria for a lifetime mental disorder. Underprivileged youth are at an even higher risk to develop issues with their mental health and the services needed to address their problems are often much harder to access than for most people. The Boys and Girls Club of Greater La Crosse is one of a few non-profit organizations that provides desperately needed mental health intervention for at-risk youth.

Mental health issues, particularly in adolescents, can be seen throughout the La Crosse community, affecting physical, psychological and social well-being. The effects of which can be seen in our homes, schools and the entire community. With a growing focus on mental health, there is growing support for programs that reintegrate troubled youth back into a healthy and safe environment. While many of us struggle with mental health problems, it is the youth that have the hardest time identifying and combating their own mental health problems. Through specially designed mentoring programs, the Boys and Girls Club has found success in addressing the prevalence of mental health in the youth that they serve. The effects of this mental health program have shown great promise however, now more than ever, these youth services have seen an increase in demand. Due to the affordable fees offered by the Boys and Girls Club, more and more people rely on them for help each year and the budget for this program continues to grow as well.

For those youth who cannot afford other area programs, the Boys and Girls Club provides a much needed service in addressing the growing mental health problems seen in this population. This non-profit organization serves over 600 school age youth daily, of which 50 percent live in poverty and one third come from single-parent households. Through their behavioral health program, the Boys and Girls Club leads the La Crosse  community in advocating for youth mental health support, especially for those who might not have access to other services. Mentoring programs have been very helpful in addressing mental health issues in youth members. These programs work because they provide encouragement and guidance that at-risk youth may lack at home and in school. In order to strengthen self-worth and resiliency, this program helps build relationships that youth can rely on.

Without programs like this, children are at a higher risk for self-harm, acting out behavior, violence and drug and alcohol abuse. Every donation helps increase services that the Boys and Girls Club provides and the need is ever increasing as more is learned about mental illness. Collaborating with the numerous resources that this community has to offer, this program has the ability to address the increasing needs of its members now and for the future.

To make a donation to help FSPA continue its advocacy for mental health care, add “mental health advocacy” in the comment box of our donate now form.

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