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 issues are not getting the help they need. These studies indicate that 20% of children and adolescents may have a diagnosable disorder with the number of children affected estimated to range from 7.7 million to 12.8 million. 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.” In 2011, Mental Health America reported that the rate of depression among adolescents may be as high as one in eight. Half of all cases of adults with psychological disorders report that their mental health challenges 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 student’s presenting issues critical enough to 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, FSA opened the first Student Care Center on campus at Burbank High School in 2016 followed in 2017 by the opening of the Student Care Center at John Burroughs High School. The Centers serve as safe spaces 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 High School Student Care Centers are open Monday through Friday 10am to 4pm to all students. The Centers welcomes, on average, 50-100 new students a week.