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US state introduces free therapy for young people

Words by Tess Becker

As we’ve written about many times at Smiley News, there is an ongoing mental health crisis among teens in the United States, and places around the country address it in different ways, such as education programs, counseling, and non-profit aid. 

In a positive move to address that, kids and teens who visit emergency rooms in mental health crises can now get free therapy in Colorado.

This therapy is an extension of an existing Colorado initiative called The Follow-Up Project where suicide hotline staff call people who’ve been discharged from a hospital to check up on them after their stay. Now, through a non-profit called Second Wind Fund, that program will offer free therapy as well. 

About 70% of people don’t see a therapist after an emergency visit, and this program is meant to address that. 

“Someone to check in with that person who’s been suicidal, or experiencing a mental health crisis, to just offer support and care without anything demanding or providing therapy, but just caring contact,” explained Lena Heilmann, director of the state Office of Suicide Prevention, which is part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Second Wind Fund is working to help the youth in Colorado, and getting more reach thanks to Project-Follow Up.

“Our organization focuses on improving access and delivery of suicide care,” they write. “Our unique program provides an avenue for families to obtain actual treatment services for children and youth at risk for suicide by breaking down financial and transportation barriers.”

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

American Civil Liberties Union. This is one of the largest civil liberty defense organizations in the US. Find out more and support them here

Human Rights Campaign. This is one of the largest equality-focused organizations in the US. Find out more
The Trevor Project. They focus on suicide prevention and mental health support for queer youth. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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