By Katie Landes, Director
Approximately 100,000 children in Georgia under the age of 18 live with serious mental health conditions. Many of these children do not receive the necessary treatment.
Afterschool and summer learning programs can serve as part of the solution by promoting the healthy social-emotional development of all children and youth, recognizing when young people are at risk for or are experiencing mental health problems, and identifying how to intervene early and appropriately when there are problems. Supporting the social, emotional, and mental well-being of all youth is a key component of quality as defined by the Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development (ASYD) Quality Standards, Georgia’s evidence-based out-of-school time standards.
Some youth development programs in Georgia go a step further in providing supports specific to those with mental and behavioral health disorders. Funded by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Children, Young Adults & Families, the Mental Health Resiliency Support Clubhouses provide a youth led, family driven therapeutic environment for Georgia’s children and young adults coping with the challenges of mental health disorders. The clubhouses provide supportive services that include educational supports, employment services, peer support, family engagement, social activities, and other initiatives geared to engage youth, as well as assist them in managing behaviors and symptoms.
Check out GSAN’s new Youth Development Spotlight to learn more about Georgia’s clubhouses.