From our oldest to youngest, Arkansans have been affected by the pandemic in ways that have changed lives forever. Since March 2020, Pulaski County has recorded the most cases, deaths and hospitalizations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows that children in Arkansas are more likely to endure adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) than children in most other states because of the pandemic.
Pulaski County Youth Services, known for its innovative programming, has launched a free counseling program focused on those directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Pulaski County.
The Pulaski County Youth Services Mental Health Heroes program provides resources through therapy and counseling sessions for students, educators and school support staff directly impacted by the loss of a loved one to Covid-19, addressing the potential academic loss with various tutoring and academic enhancement opportunities, physical fitness and nutrition activities, and planned monthly events for the families and school staff.
“Due to the catastrophic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, I felt it was our responsibility to address the emotional well-being of our youth. I envisioned PCYS creating a program that would directly impact youth who lost a parent, sibling, or teacher to COVID-19,” Pulaski County Youth Services Director Jamie Scott said. “By implementing the Mental Health Heroes program, we will address the mental health issues and more, impacting these families during this global pandemic.”
PCYS is partnering with Arkansas Holistic Therapy, Roots-Raices Bilingual Counseling, A Better You Therapeutic Solutions, Key 2 Success Counseling, Argenta Counseling and Life Strategies Counseling, Inc.
“Director Scott and her staff have worked tirelessly for months on creating the Mental Health Heroes program to address the needs of our youth and families in our county, as mental health has risen to be one of the unaddressed pressing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to partner with various local organizations to bring this needed program to fruition,” County Judge Barry Hyde said.