I met with one of the people I'll be using as a reference today and we got on the topic of my last practicum. In my last practicum, I worked in a community office that helps children with mental health issues. It was a great experience, but there were a few things about it that I simply did not like.
What I'm going to talk about is accessibility of the service. When I was first learning the ropes there, I found it very odd that the hours of operation were 9-5 on most days. There was one day where there were extended hours, but that was it. So look at that. Services for kids, from 9-5. Ummm, don't they go to school? To be fair, many did have school issues and did not attend, but from what I knew, most of them were in school. So that limits accessibility right there.
Then we have to talk about where it was housed. Ok, it was in a decent area in terms of close to town and some residential areas, but there was little bus service, and it was confusing to find. That's not the best part of it, though. To get to our offices, you have to check in with reception and then a clinician would have to come downstairs to get you. Yup, we weren't even on the first floor.
So this is how we provide services to children with mental health issues? An office on a higher floor in a back part of town?
Now, when I think of what would work, I think of a drop in center. With things to do and people to hang out with. Maybe some stuff to eat and things to read. Games to play. Areas for groups and comfortable areas for some privacy with a counselor. A pool table. Gawd, I dunno...anything other than an office where we have to be careful.
Is this really too much to ask?