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Helping kids improve their mental health with the Boys & Girls Club

Posted at 3:29 PM, Jul 03, 2020

It’s something being talked about more these days, mental health, and for good reason. But what about the younger generation? The ‘Be You Wellness Program’ now offered at the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth focuses on just that.

Mental health is the leading cause of health problems in children and youth and only 20% who have a mental health condition actually receive treatment. Through this program though, now more than 200 children will get services to address those challenges. It’s all made possible through the Children’s Foundation and a grant that will allow staff to be fully trained. It will also allow children to engage in therapeutic activities and parents will receive mental health education work groups.

Patrick Placzkowski, the CEO says, “just like all of us, they've been through a lot in the last three, four months. They might not say that they're stressed out, they're anxious, all the kinds of things that we articulate about as adults, there's no doubt that this has affected them and the stress that they experience at home, like we all have. The kids have absorbed that and we really want to be able to provide that extra level of support and let them know it's okay. To provide space for them to maybe get back into a routine. So, we're hoping to bring them back to the club and just provide a little extra support expecting that there will be some heightened emotions based on all the stress and anxiety that they felt.”

The program is set to run into 2021 with support from the Grand Rapids Police Department, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids Public Schools and the Stockbridge Business Association.

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