Delaware Guidance Services, the leading not-for-profit provider of mental health services for children in Delaware, supported May 9 as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. This day was founded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as a day to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 60 percent of people with mental health conditions and nearly 90 percent of people with substance abuse disorders don’t receive the care they need. These are particularly significant statistics since mental health experts have long known that early intervention is critical. This is especially true for children.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness can be diagnosed by age 14.
With early intervention, the benefits for children are monumental and can derail both long-term and multigenerational issues. Going without appropriate treatment, on the other hand, puts children and teens at risk for failure in school, substance abuse, contact with the criminal justice system, and, in extreme cases, suicide.
Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth Inc. provides a broad range of programs including outpatient counseling, intensive community-based counseling, school-based counseling, day treatment (therapeutic day schools for children ages 6-14) and crisis treatment for kids at extreme risk. Services are available to everyone, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. This year, DGS is celebrating its 60th year of service to Delaware’s children and families.
DGS has been serving Delaware’s families since 1953 and now serves more than 15,000 children and their families annually with a continuum of behavioral health programs offered through clinics in Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Lewes and Seaford. For more information on DGS, call 302-652-3948 or go to www.delawareguidance.org.