Bullying, teen suicide, substance abuse and depression are serious issues and El Camino Hospital agrees.
On Nov. 1, the local hospital announced that Campbell's was the recipient of a $110,000 grant to support the organization's Addiction Prevention Service and Child and Adolescent Mobile Crisis Program at five high schools in the : Branham, , Leigh, and high schools.
This is the second year that El Camino Hospital Community Benefit Program has named EMQ as its grant recipient. The program aims at providing resources to a variety of programs and services that benefit the community through education, prevention and support. Programs that are selected as recipients expand access to care and preventative services for the underserved children and adult populations.
"I just want to express our gratitude to El Camino Hospital, that they understand how important this is and chose to do this another year," says Laura Champion, Executive Director for Bay Area EMQ Family First. "It is a great gift to the community and a shining example of how institutions like them should give back."
EMQ's two 24-hour, seven-day mobile services are the only ones in Santa Clara County and although this grant allows the organization to better serve these particular five high schools, it also extends these services to more than 25 schools throughout the county.
"We served over 2,000 parents, students and teachers last year and anticipate that we will do the same this year," Champion says. "That gift from El Camino Hospital has made all the difference."
Offering a mobile service, in particular to high schools is something that is necessary, she says.
"Students in high school are in a tremendous amount of pressure to not make good choices," Champion says. "They need trained people that know how to create trusting relationships quickly and head the student in the right direction quickly. They are effective in a very short amount of time. And we see evidence of schools that don’t have this in place.
"Bullying is on the rise," she continues. "As bullying increases, so does drug and alcohol abuse because students use this to mitigate the effects of bullying. There is a mental health service component to our services but we need hospitals and other organizations to step up and help fund this."
Mobile versus Traditional Outreach
Counseling services are available to students at their schools during specific hours, but students that are "in crisis" may not be in school.
This is where the mobile services come in, Champion says.
"Students experience their crisis at any time of day, and if we don’t respond in the moment, we miss our window," she says.
Usually its the local police and schools that make the calls to the mobile team, then parents, Champion says.
"Sometimes, my team has been down at the train tracks or on roofs or in the bathroom of a school where the child has something to hurt themselves," she says. "If they can be there in the moment, they can help the student back off, help them de-escalate and help them connect to services, and make sure the adult responsible for the youth know what to do next."