LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH – EDGE Teen Center recently received a $15,000 grant from The Spaulding Foundation to fund the continuation of an initiative with Focus on Youth that addresses the increasing mental health and emotional needs of local teens.
Approximately 115 teens spend time at EDGE each day after school. A Focus on Youth clinician comes on site every week to offer support and mentoring and provide individualized counseling with parental consent.
“This is helping many teens to improve coping and resiliency skills they need in everyday life,” said Annie Droege, Teen Center Director. “It also connects teens who need ongoing individual treatment services with someone who can help them and allows them to get that support here at our center.”
The pilot for this program began in January 2018 with funding from the Community Grants Fund at the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty. The Spaulding Foundation grant ensures the continuation of a licensed clinician on site at EDGE each week.
Facilitated small groups focus on coping skills as well as the factors that contribute to mental health, such as stress management, trauma and relationships. “We also explore topics such as depression, bullying, self-injurious behaviors and complex emotions,” said Amy Shull with Focus on Youth. “The teens give input on real-world issues they struggle with that they would like to explore.”
Studies show that 20% of teens have a mental illness – defined as a condition that affects a young person’s thinking, emotions and mood to the extent that it interferes with daily functioning at home and school. “The end goal is to help teens feel better equipped and confident to handle the problems they face on a daily basis,” said Droege.
About EDGE Teen Center
EDGE Teen Center’s mission is to empower teens to impact the world. It does this by providing high school students with a diverse, youth-driven center dedicated to fostering mentoring relationships among teens and caring adults. Serving nearly 750 teens annually, EDGE challenges students to realize their full potential and become the best version of themselves through facilitated programs in these focus areas: Community Service, Academic Success, Life Skills, and Healthy Living.
About Focus on Youth
Located in West Chester, Ohio, Focus on Youth, Inc.’s mission is to improve the lives of children by providing strengths-based foster care, adoption, and mental health services that promote the permanency, safety, and well-being of youth. Focus on Youth’s Behavioral Health Services are open to children ages 3 and up and their families, with specialization in trauma treatment and play therapy.
About The Spaulding Foundation
The Spaulding Foundation is a private foundation funded from the estate of a longtime Northside resident, Ruth Spaulding. Funded in 1998, The Spaulding Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community, focusing in the areas of mental health, physical and mental disabilities, substance abuse/chemical addiction, and domestic violence, rape and abuse. The Spaulding Foundation is also a longtime supporter of Mrs. Spaulding’s favorite local organization, The Cincinnati Zoo.