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Boys Town California Shines Spotlight on Mental Health

​​Boys Town California is taking on mental and behavioral health issues in the Orange County, California, community through their Community Support Services, including Common Sense Parenting® workshops, Community Support Groups, Parent Connectors Program, and Family ​Matching.

“Many families in our community are struggling with mental or behavioral health issues that arise from the daily challenges family members face, thus all of our programs focus on teaching skills and providing the necessary support to make sure families are finding the right kind of help easier and faster,” said Luciana Alessandrini, Supervisor, Family Support Services.

Each community support service is tailored to fit the needs of children and adults who are on the brink of crisis. Common Sense Parenting workshops offer specific training on parenting skills, while Community Support Groups provide help through sharing personal experiences, listening to and accepting others’ experiences, providing sympathetic understanding, establishing  social networks and showing adults how to connect with community resources to meet their needs.

The Parent Conn​ectors Program and Family Matching, focuses more on individualized care. Through weekly contact, trained Parent Connectors provide information and individualized instructional and emotional support for families in need. Family Matching creates helpful peer-to-peer relationships between families with a member struggling with mental or behavioral health issues and volunteer mentors who have had similar experiences.

“We continuously strive to provide quality educational and advocacy services. As a team we always try to identify the needs of a community first, and adapt our services accordingly,” said Alessandrini. “We pride ourselves in making sure we offer the right services at the right time. Our Community Support Group program continuously creates new workshops based on the interest and needs of the participants at hand.”

Last month, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Boys Town California hosted six different workshops specifically promoting positive mental health, managing stress, and dealing with day-to-day challenges. More than 130 Orange County residents attended the workshops, which offered Boys Town’s expert advice on coping with mental and behavioral challenges that Americans face every day.

While National Mental Health Awareness Month provided a platform to promote Boys Town’s services, Alessandrini explains that the California site continues to find ways to spread awareness of Boys Town’s programs throughout the year. “We take as many opportunities as possible to attend community events, resource fairs, and school events to let families know we are here to help,” she said.   

Since last July, Boys Town California's Community Support Services have seen great success, serving approximately 1,832 adults and 3,931 children.