Mental health issues permeate the headlines. Instead of discussing solutions, the news is covering the results of not resolving the issues. I work with a number of mental health providers and have their stories to share. 

  • Preparing kids with autism to go back to school and enjoying the end of summer. This is Christian's Story

    Back-to-school can be a difficult time for anyone, be it a student, parent, or teacher. It can be especially difficult for kids with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which in turn can magnify the difficulty for those closest to them. There are strategies parents can work on now with their child, to get them ready and excited to start school ready to learn. 

    This is Christian's Story I want to invite you into Christian's home, a six-year-old kid from Allen Park who is quiet, but very smart. He also has autism. Now he's building his confidence and shining brighter than ever. Here is Christian's story and Christian's Board Certified Behavioral Analyst can provide parents with tools and tips to prepare their child to go back to school.   
  • Children's voices finally return to Corktown and The Corner Ballpark, where kids with autism are gaining the confidence and skill to become athletes

    Summer camp and playing sports is something that many families take for granted. For children with autism, very few programs exist. The Autism Sports Academy, presented byCentria Autism Services & Detroit PAL, provide children with special needs, a final taste of summer and the opportunity to enjoy a day of FREE family fun. This Friday, August 31, the voices of children playing returns to the Corner Ballpark, where 600+ kids with autism are expected to gather for a free autism activity day to mark the end of summer. 

    This includes sports stations, led by Detroit PAL coaches to teach the basics of soccer, football, kickball, and tee ball. To help parents find the resources they need to help their children succeed, Centria Autism will also have their trained behavioral health specialists on site to answer questions and guide them through the maze of questions and requirements related to accessing autism services and get other families ready to go back to school. 

    WHEN:  Friday, August 31, 2018, from 9 AM - 12 PM
    WHERE: The Corner Ballpark presented by Adient, 1680 Michigan Ave, Detroit, Michigan 48216
  • The media has a big role to play in suicide prevention - September is National Suicide Prevention Month

    The recent deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have put suicide in the spotlight and a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows an increase in suicide rates in every state but Nevada.  In Michigan, the suicide rate increased by 32.9 percent. Those who choose to end their life generally never show the signs. Those contemplating suicide need to know who to call in a crisis and friends and family need to know how they can help. 

    Where to go for help and how you can help others
    I want to bring you to Common Ground in Pontiac and into the crisis center to field the calls and show how trained experts are chatting and texting with people to help them and support them, perhaps help share some survivor stories. Then on Sept 15-16, 150+ artists will gather in Shain Park, in downtown Birmingham, for Common Ground's 44th Annual Birmingham Street Art Fair. Proceeds from an art auction will directly benefit Common Ground's suicide prevention and text and chat line and keep it running in the evening and on weekends, when people, generally children, need them the most. /
  • Employing people with developmental disabilities, 
    National Disability Employment Awareness Month starts in October. 

    Adults with a developmental disability struggle to find a job where they feel comfortable and valued, and where their abilities are well used. Services to Enhance Potential, (STEP) is a Wayne County-based not-for-profit that works with companies such as BASF, Quality Inn, Bottling Crew, Gentleman's Box and others to train adults with developmental disabilities for various jobs. DTE and Ford Motor Company also have committed to hiring people with a developmental disability.

    Ready & Able to Hire: I want to invite you into the training centers, warehouses, offices, and hotels and meet the people overcoming challenges to not only make a significant impact on the company but making a huge difference in the lives of their co-workers. You can talk with the employees with disabilities and their co-workers along with STEP trainers and help highlight and celebrate local companies that employ people with disabilities. Perhaps you can help someone find a job. 

    The trick shot to getting employed with a disability

    A related story is about Will DeYonker (Ypsilanti) who was one of those people with a developmental disability looking for work. Living with autism, through ABA therapy, Will was able to go to college and now works for Centria Autism where he is leading an effort to help others with their resume and interviews so that they can find a job. Will also happens to be a world championship trick-shot pool player.