Not Alone – Sharing the Hope

I would like to share something that has been on my heart and mind for some time. I struggle to understand our system of mental health care. On occasion, I see some youth in detention that I previously saw at a residential mental healthcare facility. Due to age limits at facilities, funding, and so forth, the youth are discharged to their parents (adopted, biological, or foster) or onto other placements. The hope is the child will successfully transition to the norms of this world. Unfortunately, due to their acute mental health or addiction, their level of care might require more than the typical parent books can provide. As a result of limited mental health care facilities across the country, youth are often times placed in detention until a more suitable treatment or mental health facility is available. In my experience, my child was detained for up to six months until placement was finally made, despite our advocating for what was best for him. The result—too many young people are slipping through the cracks, and not receiving the adequate mental health care they deserve, which creates a vicious cycle of in and out of jail, in-patient hospital short-term stays, homelessness, and sometimes even death. So what are we going to do?

At Journey of Hope (JoH), we cannot solve these ongoing issues of limited mental health care facilities; however, we can be a voice for what is right and just. In that vein, JoH has instructors and volunteers going to the juvenile detention center and the Glory House, to see these folks as individuals – to share a smile, spend time teaching a new art, playing games, etc., letting them know there is hope for the future and meeting them right where they are on their journey. We are also partnering with agencies to provide the basic hygiene needed when people are released from detention or treatment centers or just need extra help for the month. Hygiene is not a luxury, it is a basic need, a fresh start. If you are a non-profit or government agency needing extra help for the clients you serve, we want to help. Feel free to complete our online product request form.

Kari Palmer

Kari Palmer