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New program helps teen in crisis turn it around

May 21, 2013
Baron, right, with his mother, Kim. Baron and his family received Youth Villages’ Specialized Crisis Services, and are now doing well.

Baron, right, with his mother, Kim. Baron and his family received Youth Villages’ Specialized Crisis Services, and are now doing well.

To look at him now you would not know that just a few short months ago Baron had thoughts of harming himself.

Youth Villages Specialized Crisis Services in Tennessee (SCS)
Specially trained crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day to respond to crises rapidly and effectively, wherever they occur in Tennessee. Throughout the state, the Youth Villages Specialized Crisis Services staff provides assessment and evaluation of children and youth, up to age 18, who are experiencing a psychiatric emergency. Contact information.

Baron had more to deal with than the average 17-year-old. His family had been homeless for three years – living in motel rooms and shelters. Neither parent was able to work, so Baron was forced to provide for the family and care for his little brother. He was struggling to find a balance between academics and sports in addition to maintaining a job.

“I was having trouble sleeping,” Baron said about that time in his life. “Everything was getting to me.”

He hated his job. He hated school. He hated life.

Youth Villages Specialized Crisis Services Specialist responded to the call about Baron at the nearby hospital emergency room.

“Baron had a great deal of pressure put upon him,” said Debbie Robinson, program supervisor for SCS. “He did not have a stable environment at home.”

During the next few days, SCS specialists continued following up with Baron, and he was referred to a local behavioral hospital.

“We were in contact with Baron weekly for three months, checking in on him and his family,” Debbie said. “We made sure Baron was getting the help he needed, and directed the family to resources that could help them.”

After his discharge from the hospital, Baron was referred to Youth Villages SCS’s Enhanced Follow-up Services (EFS).

Youth who are seen by crisis services and are determined to be high risk for suicide are referred to the EFS program. The program provides ongoing follow-ups to reduce further risk.

Youth Villages’ Friend In Need program stepped in and multiple donors provided Baron and his brother with clothes, shoes and school supplies. In addition, money was given to help with the family’s financial needs – including tuition for Baron’s night classes, rent money for an apartment and utilities.

Baron made the A/B honor roll and is on track to graduate high school. He was discharged successfully from the EFS program in October. He said if it were not for EFS, he would have dropped out of school.

“I’ve just got a better connection with everyone in the family,” Baron said. “Before I wouldn’t talk about things, but you’ve just got to get that stuff out.”

Kim, Baron’s mother, has recognized a positive change not only in her son but in the entire family.

“Debbie and Youth Villages really went above and beyond,” said Kim. “She really cared about us and helped us through an extremely difficult time.”

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