Sometimes the simple act of knocking on a door can save a life.
That’s exactly what Serena StoaLaBarger, a mental health sspecialist at Family & Children’s Services, does to engage Tulsa Housing Authority residents through a contract with THA. And it’s working.
In just two short months, she’s already begun treating 20 new mental health clients who would not have sought out services otherwise — clients who live in low-income housing properties where the suicide rate is astronomically high.
But F&CS isn’t just embedded in public housing. We’re also in schools, in jail, in suburbs and in the courthouse.
Community-based services knock down the barriers — the barriers to transportation, to community resources and to finding help when you need it most. Here’s a breakdown of where you can find Family & Children’s Services in addition to its 10 locations:
Located in one of the poorest, most isolated and violent neighborhoods in Tulsa is Brightwaters, a subsidized housing project owned by Community Action Project.
In the spring of 2011, Family & Children’s Services opened a community resource center onsite, staffing it with a community life coordinator. Now individuals, families and couples in the housing community can easily obtain linkages to community resources, case management and crisis services, as well as participate in structured activity and educational groups.
Many times, divorcing parents find themselves unable to afford an attorney, making it difficult to navigate through the divorce process and ensure sure the needs of their children are effectively met.
The F&CS community resource coordinator, embedded inside the courthouse, helps these litigants through the divorce process, including next steps, mediation and quick resolutions for child support and parenting time. We also provide valuable community resources to those needing further assistance.
HELPING KIDS GET A-HEAD OF THE CURVE
Located in the pockets of neighborhoods, schools are the hub of our communities. And just like adults, the students inside experience trauma, concentration problems, family issues and more. By having clinicians onsite, F&CS is able to help kids manage conflicts they experience inside the classroom and out, all of which affect academic performance and lifelong success.
Currently, F&CS school-based clinicians are embedded in 24 elementary, middle and high schools throughout Tulsa Public Schools, Jenks, Union and Broken Arrow, providing individual, family and group counseling sessions, as well as advocacy.
FROM BEHIND BARS
David L. Moss Jail Criminal Justice Center
Those suffering from mental illness often find themselves in jail for nonviolent offenses, usually due to a lack of medication or self-medication through substance abuse. Both problems are easily preventable with the right treatment program.
Two F&CS case managers work at the jail to identify possibly mentally ill clients, help them manage symptoms and connect them with mental health programs and drug court. By diverting those with mental illness into treatment instead of prison, we’re decreasing the prison population and helping people make positive life improvements.
KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR
F&CS in the Suburbs
With satellite offices in Claremore, Owasso and Broken Arrow, suburban residents no longer have to drive many miles into the city to find services. Essentially, these offices operate like the agency’s main locations in Tulsa, only on a smaller scale. Individuals, families, couples and children are seen by an F&CS therapist for mental health, child abuse and trauma and counseling services.
The satellite offices eliminate transportation barriers, and the therapists are well-informed about resource offerings in the particular community.