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New service provides mental health care to Mid-South families

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:29 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s being called a mental health crisis.

Demand for mental health services has sky-rocketed within the past two years and there is an even bigger concern for those in communities without access to affordable health care.

Tucked away inside the familiar Christ Community Health building on Austin Peay in Raleigh is one of the health care providers’ newest editions, Family Solutions.

It is a family-based model of mental health care with an emphasis on children.

“That can be anything from child abuse to school issues, behavioral issues,” said Family Solutions Director Tara Seay.

Seay says they use traditional individual and group therapy and alternative methods such as musical therapy or yoga.

“A lot of people have a lot of stuff going on in their mind from just everyday life, but when they have a traumatic experience, their mind basically built up a bad habit of going towards the negative,” said Seay.

Seay says she and her staff have been busier than ever.

Their services have tripled in the past year, primarily due to the pandemic.

“Absolutely more people have been seeking treatment, not just for chronic issues, but because life is stressful now. Life is unpredictable now,” said Seay.

According to the CDC from March to October in 2020 mental health-related emergency department visits increased 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% for those ages 12 to 17 compared to 2019.

At Family solutions healing children means healing the entire support system.

Kathy Douglas first started coming to Family solutions to support her daughter and grandchildren in 2018.

“When I had my first session it was just me and her one on one and I just opened up and I felt so comfortable,” said Douglass. “I was very skeptic of therapy, I was like I don’t need it. I’ll just go to church, but it has really helped me out a whole, whole lot,” said Douglass.

Douglass realized her own trauma of losing her grandmother and best friend within a month of each other was affecting her in ways she never really understood.

“I’m the type that wants to be strong for everybody and I ended up breaking and going into this shell and she gave me these tools like it’s OK to cry,” said Douglass.

Family Solutions wants the entire family to gain valuable tools to deal with mental health and so they’re taking the show on the road

“So coming in February this room per se will be replicated into the school system,” said Seay.

Family Solutions will be setting up on site at East, Sheffield and Westwood high schools and offering some of the same tools and therapy that is used at the clinic.

“When the whole family is able to be supported. The whole family is engaged and involved, that helps the child as a whole,” said Seay.

Due to COVID-19, Family Solutions is offering its services in person or online.

Anybody can get services and they receive referrals from doctor offices, schools or individuals.

For more information visit christcommunityhealth.org.

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