41% of $5,000 goal
As 2022 comes to a close, it is incredible to think of all the things we have to be grateful for this year. With the world moving on from the pandemic, the future seems full of possibilities and hope. For all of us here at CCGC hope can be the most important thing to have.
For many years, there have been troubling underlying trends when it comes to children’s mental health, with more children suffering from mental illnesses and emotional disturbances, and the need for treatment options has been growing at a steady rate. Now, the pandemic has added to and compounded the crises we were already facing, leading to increased instances of behavioral issues depression, anxiety, and more, and the data only gets worse for families living in socioeconomic deprivation. At this point, the long-ranging effects of the pandemic and the future of children’s mental health feel like a great unknown, even though the troubles children are facing right now cannot wait.
CCGC was created over 60 years ago to make equitable, effective treatment accessible to our central Connecticut families and help children create better futures despite any struggle that they face, and with your support, nothing will change about that now.
Take the case of Elliot, who was just 8 when the pandemic started, and while his family already suspected that something was wrong, they never could have imagined the struggle ahead. Elliot’s behavior became unmanageable as his family tried to work through homeschooling him in 2020, and he acted out against his siblings and pets, sometimes violently.
Luckily, it was at this point that a neighbor in their building recommended CCGC, and the family was able to get support and guidance around managing Elliot’s out-of-control behavior right away via telehealth, even as the world seemed to be spinning in an eternal shutdown. With support for his parents and a new behavior modification plan in place, his behavior started to improve. Just when it seemed like things were starting to settle, the schools reopened and Elliot once again lost all sense of his normal structure and routine. Now 9 years old and growing taller and stronger by the day, Elliot reverted back to the same disruptive, even dangerous behaviors that had scared his family the year before.
Elliot's school, his CCGC Clinician, and his parents all worked hard to try and find solutions and ways to address his behavior while tackling his intense mood swings and outbursts without further disruption to his routine, but when it became clear that Elliot could not stay in his public school classroom, CCGC School provided a safer environment where Elliot could finally find the structure and additional support he needs. Elliot benefits from his small classroom, a team of clinical support, and even medication management now that he is at CCGC, and he and his family all know that his new school will be there for him whatever the future holds.
In so many ways, this outcome and the services he receives are only possible because you, our community, recognized years ago that providing a comprehensive system of many treatment options for families is so important to ensure their success. No two children are exactly the same, and their services must be flexible, adaptable, and responsive in order to meet those needs. This was true generations ago, and it is certainly no less true today, in the wake of the pandemic. Being a part of the solutions these kids need takes time, resources, and the skilled work of mental health and education professionals at every level, and we feel lucky every day to be here and be helping children in this way.
We are looking forward to 2023 being another year filled with stories where children’s struggles with mental health and special education are met with resilience, resourcefulness, and compassion above all else. We want to ask you to be a part of that future, and consider helping to create a community that embraces children in need and helps them to heal and grow up stronger and better, together.
Will you make a gift today? Your donation right now can help to ease the pain that the past two years have caused for families struggling with more than anyone should have to, and help to create positive change in the year ahead. As we all consider how much we have to be grateful for, it is so important to remember the kids who haven’t yet known a peaceful and happy joyous holiday season. Thank you for thinking of them, and for being a part of our community this year and every year.
Community Child Guidance Clinic, Inc. is a private, nonprofit, special education and mental health agency offering diagnostic, treatment, and consultation services to children 0-18 and their families. CCGC has worked to provide quality care for children suffering from mental and behavioral health concerns for over 60 years, and its mission states: “Our mission is to assist and support children with emotional and behavioral issues by providing a special education day school and a system of child and family-focused mental health services.” The agency fulfills this mission by providing an array of services for children including outpatient counseling, in-home services, an intensive outpatient program, therapeutic groups, Victims of Crime Assistance Services (VOCA), and a clinical day school. CCGC makes these services available to all children living in central Connecticut and offers vital opportunities for treatment, healing, and growth in a location that is accessible to families. The agency currently serves over 35 towns throughout Connecticut, and over 700 children each year.
CCGC originally opened its doors in 1959, with the mission of providing mental health services to families in Manchester and surrounding towns who would have otherwise needed to travel a significant distance when seeking care. CCGC’s small staff originally only provided outpatient counseling and psychiatric services, but later the agency grew to include a preschool and sexual abuse treatment team. These added programs represent the beginning of an ongoing commitment at CCGC to provide services that are relevant to the current needs of the community and which utilize the most contemporary practices in the field. Today, CCGC continues this tradition with the more recent additions of multiple Evidence-Based Practices, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC), and Modular Approach to Therapy for Children (MATCH).