May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 20% of children experience a mental disorder at any given time and among those only 20% ever receive adequate treatment.
"The Center actually brought our family back together again. It just meant a lot of hope for all of us," said Nina, a parent at the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County.
Since 1956 The Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County has worked to provide at-risk children and their families with the support that they need to function in school, at home and in the community.
Roy Berger, Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Child Guidance Center said, "The Center is the safety net for children's mental healthcare in Mid-Fairfield County. It really is in many cases the only place that children and families can come to."
It is estimated that 10,000 children in Mid-Fairfield County have a diagnosable mental health disorder.
Through their intensive therapeutic after-school program, children are able to work with professionals to help them function safely in their environment.
Danielle Wolpert, Director of the Extended Day Treatment Services at the Center said, "These are children that have a wide variety of diagnosis ranging from mood disorders to psychotic disorders to difficulties concentrating and functioning socially, emotionally and academically."
"Sometimes we see kids come in and they really struggle to play with their peers. Something that seems to be so simple is a really difficult task for kids and so our therapeutic models help kids learn and understand how to play and how to work with their emotions which is extremely helpful and necessary in making sure that they can develop and grow into well adjusted young adults and adults later on," said Taryn Zarnetske, Assistant Director of the Extended Day Treatment Program.
"My son is doing really really well in school, thanks to these guys at the Center and it's just given us a big, new chance in life," added Nina.
Last year, the Center provided services to nearly 2,000 children and family members.
"We never turn anyone away based on their diagnosis or what their issue is. We also never turn anyone away based on their inability to pay. We take everybody, and that is one of the things that really sets us apart from other places of treatment. It is also one of the reasons so many children and families feel the Center is their only option," said Berger.
For more information about the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County, visit www.childguidancemfct.org.