Alec: From hopeless to hopeful
Alec, 17, was given up by his adoptive parents at age 11 and spent the next six years in multiple foster homes. In one home, his arm was broken and $1,000 earned during a summer job was stolen. Finally, at 17, he left the sixth and final home without a place to go, no high school diploma and no plan for the future.
His future was bleak until he came to Wraparound Tulsa. Wraparound staff helped Alec obtain important papers like his Social Security card, birth certificate, school transcripts and other records. Alec received therapy and case management that connected him to services for employment, food stamps and help with budgeting.
“One of the most important things is that Alec had people who cared about him, who he could rely on and who were able to assist him. He had people who encouraged and empowered him to have a voice,” said Carl Powell of Wraparound Tulsa.
Alec is not alone. He is one of 113,000 young people who have found success nationwide through services like Wraparound Tulsa.
Many more need help
One in five young people experience a mental health condition like depression, anxiety, anger or attention problems at any time. That’s six youth in every classroom of 30, according to Gary M. Blau, Ph.D., a national children’s mental health expert who spoke at the Oklahoma State Children’s Behavioral Health Conference recently.
One in 10 youth experience a serious mental health condition that impairs their ability to function. That equates to three out of every 30 students, Blau said.
Wraparound is proven to help youth overcome their behavioral health issues. Youth improve grades and behavior and decrease suspensions and juvenile justice encounters. It also decreases the number of youth who leave home for treatment.
How to help
Teachers, therapists, clergy, youth activity leaders and family friends can tell parents and guardians about Wraparound Tulsa. A simple call to Wraparound at 918.492.2554 can get a youth and family started on the road to recovery.
It’s never too early
By age 14, half of all individuals with mental illness experience their first occurrence. Without treatment, youth with mental illness are incorrectly labeled as truant or trouble in school.
Imagine a classroom where all six of the youth with mental health conditions are receiving treatment and learning, not discipline, is the primary focus?
Together, we can make it happen.