Earlier this year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield were proud to announce the launch of their new “Here & Now” mental health initiative. Designed to help foster positive mental, physical, and emotional skill sets, “Here & Now” is the latest of many efforts in the organization’s mission to provide safe and enriching environments for youth members, their families, and the communities that the Clubs serve.
As of this month, a key aspect of the initiative is now underway as the Clubs welcome new full-time clinician Jaelani Henderson onto the staff. This position and its invaluable services were made possible through a partnership with Eliot Community Human Services. The Clubs can now offer access to critical therapeutic services, and Club staff will be provided with enhanced training on Trauma Informed Care. Individual and group therapy sessions for youth will be offered at no out-of-pocket cost to families, removing financial barriers to providing services.
“We are excited to partner with the Boys & Girls Club to increase access to mental health services for youth by bringing services directly to youth in families in community settings,” says Aaron Katz, Senior Vice President for Eliot. “We are in awe of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ leadership for having the vision to embed such needed services in their programming.”
Rooted in the communities of Stoneham and Wakefield and with future expansion planned into surrounding towns, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield has been continuously recognized for its health and wellness efforts and awarded a number of grants to help further the organization’s outreach and education. Recently awarded grants for program development and expansion include the federal Drug Free Communities Grant in Stoneham and funding from the Cummings Foundation. The Clubs have recently run successful community yoga experiences in both Stoneham & Wakefield, free for everyone in the community to enjoy. The Clubs will also be offering free Youth Mental Health First Aid certification classes for community members.