We've been in the upside down for a while with the world we're living in to hear it from most counts, and it's understandable from what we've been through. Life is already hard enough then you throw in a pandemic on top of it and a whole lot of "unknown" from pretty much every corner of life. It's been hard to navigate for sure and navigating these times has been not only a problem for adults, kids have taken more than their fair share of strife. Adjusting to new schedules, grief, loneliness and loss...along with the normal teen issues and then too to see their parents in a situation that really offered no immediate answers....it's been a long haul and to iron it all out is going to take a while.
We are very fortunate to have Hackley Community Care in Muskegon. As we have visited with them in the past, they are a very active and engaged part of our health care community and they continue to work to bring their care to the people, right where they are, with their satellite work in places you'd least expect. The NOW Care offices that have opened in the last couple of years have proven an incredible asset to those who need a quick check on something and their programs to be in the area schools continues to grow and offer services that are so incredible, once upon a time, we'd have never imagined them in a school setting.
Yes, the days of getting hauled to the Principal's Office by the ear are gone and in their place, Hackley Community Care has established a mental health service for students who may have an urgent or otherwise issue involving stress, anxiety, addiction and sadly, even suicidal thoughts. It's an overwhelming feeling to know that kids suffer such deeply rooted emotional scars that they think suicide is an option. It's an even more overwhelming feeling to know that it's an increasing issue and that the world doesn't seem to be heading in the direction of letting the pressure off anytime soon.
One of the opportunities for the kids of our area to seek such help, is at the Muskegon Heights Charter Academy. Joy Robinson is the Mental Health Therapist there. She's a Tiger Alum and is remarkably proud to serve her alma matter in her role. Individual therapy, family therapy, groups, medical and dental referrals, all available. Services are available confidentially for anyone 14 and up and if a child needs a hand before then, a consent slip is needed. She's at the High School and the MLK Building. It's not just the Heights Academy that Hackley Community Care extends their services too either. Hackley Community Care reaches 15 area schools via direct contact or virtual appointments to help kids and families with their health concerns and here's the amazing part right from the Hackley Community Care website - "All insurances, Medicaid plans, and Delta Dental Healthy Kids are accepted and we will serve the patient if they are uninsured. We will work with each individual to secure insurance, apply for Medicaid, or our Sliding Fee Scale Program. Some sites are grant-funded and will not apply co-pays." We have an incredible resource here.
Joy Robinson was joined by Judy Pruim for our talk about all the details today. I will warn you know, it's a pretty frank and honest conversation about mental health, personal struggles and what kids are facing, and how Hackley Community Care is there to help. Take a listen.
As discussed in the video, mental health is a very important topic to me. Understanding childhood mental challenges has come so far since I was young and the pieces are in place to help them earlier and more effectively than ever before. This outreach on the part of Hackley Community Care....it's lifechanging. To know it's in place for students in our area and that the foundation of their lives can be changed when the first red flags come up compared to a reactionary solution when things boil over...that's the first step. To learn more about Hackley Community Care and their school based health care, please click on the link below.