Central OregonYouth Villages Oregon sees escalating emotional and behavioral challenges among youth

Youth Villages Oregon sees escalating emotional and behavioral challenges among youth

Youth Villages Oregon sees escalating emotional and behavioral challenges among youth

In Central Oregon, nonprofit offers services for 20 to 25 families a day

(Update: Adding video, comments from Youth Villages Oregon Executive Director Andrew Grover)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) — In Central Oregon, Youth Villages, a nationwide nonprofit, offers various emotional and behavioral support services to kids and families, and sees the need for its programs on the rise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oregon is ranked among the top 10 states, in terms of mental illness prevalence, and has the lowest access to mental health care.    

Youth Villages Oregon Executive Director Andrew Grover said the need for their services is more dire than before.

“We’re seeing young people face challenges that are really escalating,” Grover said Wednesday. “We’re seeing a lot more suicidal ideation and attempts. We’re seeing more significant and concerning substance abuse. The challenges that we’re seeing today are more significant than what they were pre-pandemic.”

To provide services, Youth Villages Oregon opened an office in Redmond several years ago, employing a supervisor and eight intensive in-home and ER specialists.

Deschutes County commissioners this week took up a renewed $151,000 contract with the organization for its Intensive In-Home Behavioral Health Treatment program, providing critical services to youth and their families. They include psychiatric services, mental health therapy, care coordination, skills training and peer support services.

“Usually, when a family enrolls in the Intercept program, we’ll work with them for 4-6 months,” Grover said.

Through the program, Grover said a specialist works directly with families in their homes, schools and community.

In Central Oregon, there’s also crisis support services.

The nonprofit partners with Deschutes County Behavioral Health, the St. Charles Health System and other providers.

“Families will often bring these young people to the emergency room because they don’t know where else to turn,” Grover said.

In these crisis situations, Grover said they go into a family’s home within 24 hours to try and resolve the crisis that led to the emergency room visit.

After the initial assistance which can last months, the family is referred to a longer-term provider.

Additionally, Youth Villages offer services that help kids transition into adulthood.

The nonprofit helps around 40,000 families a year nationwide.

In Oregon, it works with about 80 to 100 families in their homes, in addition to roughly 140 kids that are “aging out” of the foster-care system.

Within Central Oregon, the nonprofit offers services for 20 to 25 families a day.

But meeting the demand for services across Oregon has proven difficult, and the reason is a familiar one.

“We could double (the care), if we had enough staff,” Grover said.

Like many businesses and nonprofits, Youth Villages has post-pandemic staffing challenges, and are looking for more people to fill positions.

The organization serves kids young as 3. On average, they work with kids between 12 and 16 years of age.

Grover said their services offer a big impact.

 “We’re seeing an 80 percent success rate, one-year post-discharge,” Grover said.

That’s measured based on whether the child is still living safe with their family, if they’re going to school or have graduated, and if they’re avoiding contact with law enforcement.

The organization is funded through the Oregon Health Plan and also has a contract with the state Department of Human Services. Families may also be covered by insurance.  

The post Youth Villages Oregon sees escalating emotional and behavioral challenges among youth appeared first on KTVZ.

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