FSA ~ A Community-based Agency Without Walls!

Regrettably, it is no longer a surprise that most, if not all, present day human-driven catastrophes experienced on our nation’s school campuses and in our communities have unaddressed mental health underpinnings.

The Department of Health & Human Services statistics cite that mental health problems affect one in every five young people and it is estimated that two-thirds of youth with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. These studies indicate that 20% of children and adolescents may have a diagnosable disorder. The number of children who have mental disorders is estimated to range from 7.7 million to 12.8 million. As many as one in every 33 children may have clinical depression and the rate of depression among adolescents may be as high as one in eight. (Mental Health America website 2/5/11.)  According to a 2006 study by the Child Study Center at the New York University School of Medicine, “serious emotional disturbance affects 1 in every 10 young people, but an estimated two-thirds are not getting the help they need and only one out of every five children with a psychological disorder gets treatment.  Half of all cases of adults with psychological disorders report that it started before age 14.

Locally, our Burbank City Council and the Burbank Unified School District’s (BUSD) teachers, counselors, administrators have validated our student’s critical need for care.  Burbank’s youth educators have deemed our youth’s presenting issues critical enough to welcome/request FSA’s services on 19 BUSD campuses and referred over 2000 of their students last year for individual/group care.  This proven partnership, formed in 2001, has lead our community to the understanding that time with an FSA therapist results in a better prepared youth; better prepared to live, to learn, and to meet the overwhelming challenges of their young, oftentimes complicated lives.

In addition to the vital services offered through FSA’s School-based Counseling Program in 2016 FSA opened the first Mental Health & Wellness Center on campus at Burbank High School (BHS).  Often referred to by students as “The Center” it serves as a safe space for students seeking a quiet place to decompress, talk to peers or speak with a therapist regarding whatever issues they may be dealing with and possibly be linked to mental health services in a warm and confidential atmosphere.

FSA’s Mental Health & Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday 10am to 4pm to all students.  The Center welcomes, on average, 50 new students a week.   If the universe aligns with our intention John Burroughs High School (JBHS) will be the site of FSA/BUSD’s 2nd Mental Health & Wellness Center. We are scheduled to welcome JBHS students into their Center in the winter of 2017.