Whole Child Approach
Whole Child Approach
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, partnering with Terros Health, will provide behavioral health interventions and to alleviate the social and emotional stress among youth in Clubs around the Valley. Thanks to a groundbreaking public-private partnership, funding for this program will be provided by the Arizona Department of Education and three Arizona-based private foundations – The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.
1. The Need
In tracking the nearly 13,000 youth between the ages of 5 and 18 served in 2020, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley found that 54% lived in a single-parent home, 56% participated in the National School Lunch Program to receive free or a reduced-cost meal; and 9% were either homeless or living in unsecure housing situations. Just over 10% of these families and youth reported experiencing mental health challenges but did not have private or other insurance to cover the cost of care.
Nationally and locally, there has been a surge in depression, anxiety, substance use, and thoughts of suicide among youth. The problem became so acute that the U.S. Surgeon General issued a rare public health advisory last December.
In its 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, Mental Health America noted that youth between the ages of 11 and 17 were more likely than any other age group to experience moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. The report also found that nationwide, 60% of youth with depression do not receive mental health treatment, even in states with the greatest access to care.
Arizona ranks nearly last (49th) in the nation for high prevalence of mental illness and a severe lack of access to behavioral health care for youth. In addition:
“Our Club members face so many barriers to accessing much-needed behavioral health services including transportation, financial and cultural stigma challenges. Bringing these services right into the Clubs, where we can use proven prevention and intervention services, will help thousands of youth who need it most."
- Marcia Mintz, BGCAZ CEO
2. Our Response: "The Whole Child Approach"
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley and Terros Health are partnering to provide behavioral health interventions to youth at a time when they need it the most, thanks to a collaboration between the Arizona Department of Education and three Arizona-based private foundations – The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.
The “Whole Child Approach” Program will help alleviate social and emotional stress among children and teens between the ages of 5-18 in Boys & Girls Clubs in Maricopa and Pinal counties who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The three-year pilot program will serve youth in primarily under-represented communities, as well as students at risk for involvement in the juvenile
justice system or with an incarcerated parent. Additional emphasis will be placed on those under the supervision of the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) and families experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
By partnering with Terros Health, BGCAZ will add behavioral health coaches to 10 Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley’s branches. Each year, the program will expand until it’s running in all 30 Clubs. Terros staff members will work to assess the mental and physical health of children and youth. This will be accomplished through interaction with their peers, age-appropriate games, and other activities that promote recovery and teach youth developmental skills that reinforce their success in school, work and life.
“COVID-19 took a grave toll on our youth and their families. Our Whole Child Approach Program is designed with these individuals in mind – to help them on a path to total well-being.”
- Marcia Mintz, BGCAZ CEO
3. About Terros Health
Terros Health is an integrated healthcare company focused on the whole person, providing primary care and specializing in mental health and substance use treatment for more than 50 years. Through its 11 health and counseling centers throughout the state,
Terros Health provides trauma-informed mental health, primary care, substance use recovery, and crisis interventions to help individuals become the best version of themselves. This includes using a groundbreaking integrated model of care to treat individuals’ physical and mental health conditions as one. For more information, visit terroshealth.org
4. Thank You to Our Partners
The Whole Child Approach program is made possible through a visionary public-private partnership led by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley.
The $9 million total program cost is being partially funded by a $3 million grant from the Arizona Department of Education as part of the American Rescue Plan. The additional $6 million will come from investments from the three philanthropic foundations
“Bringing together funders from the State and local foundations at this scale is nearly unprecedented, and a testament to our partners’ enduring commitment to youth in our community.”
- Marcia Mintz, CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley
"The Arizona Department of Education is proud to partner with Boys & Girls Club of the Valley on this innovative public-private behavioral health partnership. We know helping our state’s students recover from the pandemic will take a whole-community effort, one that Boys & Girls Clubs are well-prepared to support. Organizations like Boys & Girls Club and their philanthropic partners are deeply embedded and trusted in the communities they serve, making them excellent partners in our state’s recovery efforts."
- Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
Arizona Department of Education
“This is a way to identify the challenges our kids are experiencing without judgment or stigma. The idea is to fill in the gaps for mental health services and improve access to treatment.”
- Dr. Karen Tepper, President and CEO
“Renee and I believe that breaking down barriers and helping change the conversation around mental health is absolutely essential. Today, kids need hope and an easier way to access help. That’s why this Boys & Girls Club program, which brings care directly to kids through everyday activities, is a game-changer.”
- Bob Parsons, Co-founder
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
“Mental illness is unrelenting, deceptive, and convincing. Our youth are fraught and it is absolutely imperative that we come together as a community to support and strengthen their mental health and well-being. “The lasting effects of childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences not only impact mental and physical health, but also educational outcomes, economic stability, and generational health and welfare. This comprehensive partnership between Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley and Terros Health is exactly the type of ‘meet them where they are’ approach that must be implemented with urgency.”
- Mary Jane Rynd, President and CEO
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
"The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation focuses on addressing the imperatives around education and health services. We are proud to invest in this important public-private partnership, especially at a time when we know that so many young people are struggling with mental health challenges. Providing easier access to services on a regular basis will improve the climate of Clubs and the outcomes for youth who, in the past, would not have had access to these needed services."