When Northern Kentucky’s schools closed, one of the ripple effects was a drop in demand for the services of Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky, which treats abused and neglected kids and those with mental health issues.
That wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
The schools are the main referral source for the organization and also the chief setting for the outpatient services provided by its professionals.
It’s probable that the kids who needed those services just weren’t able to get them as the world retreated during the pandemic lockdown.
“While there are many families who are experiencing a new type of togetherness that is wholesome and refreshing, there’s also an opposite dynamic,” says Rick Wurth, CEO of CHNK Behavioral Health, formerly Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky. “Families who are already struggling with abuse, neglect, or substance use disorders are now finding it even more difficult to access services.”
That’s why the organization has launched a free service called “10 Minutes With a Therapist.”
The service is not meant to be a crisis hotline, but what the organizations describes as “the first step in an individual's journey to healing and discovery through therapy.”
During each call and based on each caller's needs, a licensed therapist offers brief skill building and coping techniques and suggests potential next steps.
Calls are accepted between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday, with weekend and after-hours calls returned as quickly as possible. Callers must be 18 years of age or older or accompanied on the call by a parent or legal guardian.
The program is part of Children’s Home’s larger move into providing more outpatient and telehealth services, Wurth says.
Established in the 19th century, Children’s Home started as an orphanage and grew as a residential facility for troubled children. But its outpatient services, and lately, its telehealth programs, enable it to reach more people.
“We wanted to move the needle so there would be fewer kids coming into state custody,” Wurth says.
10 Minutes With a Therapist is “an easy first step in practicing self-care and providing the mental relief many individuals need,” says Outpatient Services Program Manager Jaclyn Gleason.
By calling CHNK’s toll-free number at 1-844-YES-CHNK (937-2465), individuals can receive help with mental health concerns, coping skills, parenting support, an increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, and other matters relating to mental wellness.
“Now more than ever, we need to be sure we’re taking care of ourselves and our loved ones – both physically and mentally,” Gleason says.
Continued COVID-19 coverage has been supported by a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project, a program run in partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Local Media Association.