Need within the community:
the wake of increased sensational episodes of violence in the
United States, it is evident that more emphasis needs to be
put on mental health services for youth and their families.
As previously stated, only Mississippi ranks below Texas in
providing such services (Poland, 1999). Violence has become
a part of everyday life due to point-and-shoot video games,
television programs, news, and movies. It is even commonplace
in many homes and neighborhoods.
Lubbock alone, 1,824 youth, ages 10 - 17, were arrested and
charged for crimes committed including murder in 1999. This
also includes 93 burglary charges, 333 theft charges, 209 simple
assaults, and 388 runaways (Lubbock Police Department's UCR
Report, 2000). In 1999, the Texas Department of Protective and
Regulatory Services reported 3,097 investigated cases of child
abuse and neglect in Lubbock County, with 630 of these cases
confirmed (Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory Services
annual report, 1999).
show that, without intervention, fifty percent (50%) of these
juveniles will continue to have arrests for violation of laws
pertaining to drug use and delinquent activities such as possession
of controlled substances and theft. Fifty percent (50%) will
be incarcerated at least once in a five-year period of time.
Eighty percent (80%) will continue to choose negative role models
in society and place themselves at continued risk for becoming
career criminals or chronic users of drugs and alcohol (Mann,
2000). The youth and families of Lubbock are in crisis. Their
crisis is affecting our community!
and surrounding areas have seen a decrease in available services
to adolescents. Charter Plains Behavioral Health Services Hospital
of Lubbock completely closed all admissions on January 27, 2000.
Covenant Hospital of Plainview stopped admission of adolescents
in September 1999, and several counseling centers in Lubbock
closed their doors as well. In addition, the Lubbock Regional
Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center (MHMR) received
a $299,480 cut in funding for 2000. This includes a 24% reduction
in the center's prevention programs and a 14% reduction for
treatment availability (Swoboda, 2000). These closings and reductions
grossly limit availability of services for adolescents and their
families. Therefore, Refuge Services can have a substantial
impact on the youth and families of our area as an intensive
Services partners with and provides services to courts, schools,
and social service agencies in the South Plains area. We contract
with professional counselors in the region allowing them to
work with the Refuge team and their client providing hands-on,
action-oriented treatment for mental health issues. The program
serves as a tool for assessing and gathering additional information
about client's patterns of interaction and/or teaches coping
strategies and solutions. Target issues include but are not
limited to: attention deficit disorder, addictions, eating disorders,
abuse issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety,
and relationship and behavioral problems.
Services is an intensive, short-term therapeutic intervention
for youth and families experiencing distress. Observable outcomes
are seen in the first session. The participant is able to make
immediate changes. This builds up confidence, which improves
long-term impact of the treatment on the overall behavior, emotion,
or relationship. This program also increases a participant's
openness to therapy in the future.