COVID Grant Provides At-Home Tools for Youth Mental Health Teletherapy

Posted on Jul 23, 2020 by

The Oshkosh COVID-19 Relief Fund has prioritized grants to nonprofits that are providing direct assistance to vulnerable individuals and families like food, hygiene, housing and healthcare, including mental health services.

Local pediatric mental health and wellness organization, Catalpa Health, helps children and families improve their mental health through various counseling services. When the COVID-19 pandemic caused a nation-wide shut down, it did not deter Catalpa’s commitment to its families.

Quick changes were put in place to transition from in-person counseling to operating using telehealth, a brand-new endeavor for the Catalpa team. While the shift to telehealth allowed them to continue providing services to over 2,000 patients in the Oshkosh area, Catalpa quickly noticed that many children did not have easy access to items they would typically use in a face-to-face session.

“Usually, kiddos would have access to certain tools when they were working with their therapist or clinician in the office,” explained Trina Doxtator, Director of Development and Marketing Communications. “[Not having access] presents a challenge for these kids within their [in home] treatment, and for the therapists who work so hard to serve them.”

A grant of $5,000 from the Oshkosh COVID-19 Relief Fund supported the purchase 81 therapy kits for Oshkosh kids participating in telehealth for outpatient therapy or intensive outpatient care.  Age appropriate kits include tools such as play-doh, books, art supplies, and journals. “These are tools with therapeutic relevance and this grant ensures no child’s session is impacted due to inability to afford an in-home kit,” adds Doxtator.

Winnebago County has one of the highest ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores in the state, making it imperative for counseling services to continue whether virtually or in-person.

There are many ways to support our community in this time of need.  In addition to considering a gift to the Oshkosh COVID-19 Relief Fund, residents are encouraged to continue to support the charities they care about that are struggling with diminished revenue. The Oshkosh COVID-19 Relief Fund was established as a collaborative effort of Oshkosh Area United Way and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation to provide flexible financial resources to 501(c)(3) organizations working in the Oshkosh community who are disproportionately impacted by economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on how to donate to the Relief Fund, please visit https://www.oshkoshareacf.org/fund/oshkosh-covid-19-relief-fund/

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