West Phoenix Boys and Girls Club providing counseling services

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Boys and Girls Club of West Phoenix is teaming up with Bayless Integrated Healthcare to staff on-site behavioral health coaches for children in the program. The program aims to help children who face financial and cultural barriers to treatment and destigmatize mental health.

“We provide more formal counseling services. We do individual groups or family, work with parents separately, the whole family together, and sometimes we see the kids separately as well,” said Dr. Kristen Ray, vice president of wellness at Bayless Integrated Healthcare.

Bayless Integrated Healthcare looks to provide a safe space for the kids, utilizing games and the play space to help care for the kids in their environment, said Ray.

Mental health services

According to Ray, one of the Boys and Girls Club’s objectives is to remove the barriers that may come with transportation or time by bringing needed services to where the kids are.

“Stress is at an all-time high for parents and kids. I think we have a lot of fatigue in general, just with the way things are going. The kids want to get back to living their life, and parents and their support systems are really struggling,” Ray said.

“It’s really important that everybody has, at least, one positive, supportive adult in their life that can really actively listen to them be there for them without judging their behavior or the reason they’re doing things.”

Looking ahead

“Kids do not live on islands,” said Ray, who stressed the importance of systems and communities for kids. The club will work with any group or person “on that child’s team” because they understand the importance of community for children.

The partnership between the Boys and Girls Club of West Phoenix and Bayless Integrated Healthcare is expanding into Chandler and excited to expand the program.

Dr. Kristen Ray, Vice President of Wellness, Bayless Integrated Healthcare

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