Children’s Health Council (CHC) Adds New Ravenswood Location
Providing professional, culturally-relevant educational and mental health services at no cost to children, teens, and families in East Palo Alto and parts of Menlo Park and Redwood City.
Palo Alto, CA January 30, 2019—Ravenswood is designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a “Health Professional Shortage Area,” meaning there are not enough medical and mental health professionals to meet the community’s needs. 95% of residents are considered low income, 54% of parents are not high school graduates, and 72% of students are English language learners. Despite a vibrant community, rich with culture, history and potential, stressful conditions create a collective sense of heightened anxiety, fear, grief, and trauma–all barriers to learning & thriving.
In 2014, under the leadership of CHC Executive Director, Dr. Rosalie Whitlock and with the full support of the CHC Board, a commitment was made to serve underserved and under-resourced families in the community regardless of language, location or ability to pay. Thus, the Ravenswood Initiative was born, furthering CHC’s mission to fill gaps in mental health and education services within the schools and communities where families live, in their preferred language, with a highly-trained, licensed, bilingual and bicultural staff.
Since the launch of the Ravenswood Initiative, CHC has hired a team of three bilingual, bicultural clinicians; provided $1.3 million in free services and financial aid for families; worked onsite to provide deeper support to 7 school sites, 3 after school programs, and 2 youth and family organizations; and received requests for more support from 100% of program partners. Last year alone, CHC provided over 1,000 free consultations to parents and educators, led 67 workshops and conducted observations and evaluations for high-risk kids.
On Tuesday, CHC received the keys to their new space at 1848 Bay Road in East Palo Alto. “After nearly five years on the ground in Ravenswood, we wanted to find a home that would allow us to integrate more closely with our program partners and be more accessible to our clients,” said Dr. Joan Baran, Director of CHC’s Community Clinic. “Special thanks to The Renaissance Center for helping to make this dream a reality.”
CHC’s clinical team provides under-resourced kids, families/caregivers, and teachers/staff with professional and culturally-relevant educational support and behavioral and mental health services (such as social-emotional wellbeing and learning) to help them grow, develop skills and reach their full potential. Services are channeled through trusted partners like Ravenswood City School District, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, Eastside College Prep, KIPP Schools, All Five, Able Works, The Primary School and more.
Said a community partner in East Palo Alto, “We partner directly with the CHC team to provide access to mental health and emotional support services for our after-school program serving over 150 elementary students. Our staff feels comfortable using CHC as a resource when problem-solving for student needs. CHC’s consistent weekly on-campus presence allows us to address chronic social-emotional issues with students on a one-on-one basis, allowing us to be much more impactful in our advocacy for these students.”
While securing a space in Ravenswood was a major milestone for CHC, it comes with an ambitious vision: for a system where no child in the community falls through the cracks due to a mental health issue that may impact their learning and/or ability to be happy, healthy, and successful. CHC aims to provide direct mental health services and case management to five times as many kids as the current model.
“The trusted relationships that we’ve built in the community over the past five years, as well as CHC’s expertise in bilingual, multicultural and affordable mental health and education services, have poised us for this opportunity to deepen our impact,” says Dr. Ramsey Khasho, Chief Clinical Officer at CHC. “Along with our program partners, we can promote earlier intervention and better outcomes for underserved youth.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected to take place in mid-February.
About Children’s Health Council
For over 65 years, Children’s Health Council has been improving the lives of children, teens and young adults in our community by removing barriers to learning like ADHD, Learning Differences, Anxiety & Depression and Autism. CHC has helped more than a million families so far. CHC provides education and mental health services so children, teens and young adults can become resilient, happy and successful at home, at school and in life. At CHC, we’re here for you. En CHC, estamos aqui para ti. To learn more about CHC’s services or to schedule an appointment, visit www.chconline.org or call 650.688.3625.