May is Mental Health Month. It’s the time each year to raise awareness of mental health and recognize the caring medical teams that work tirelessly to help so many people in our community. One of the most important issues among healthcare professionals today is care for children and teenagers who struggle with their mental health.
For example, children in today’s hyper-connected world face a host of medical and behavioral difficulties. Depression. Anxiety. Hopelessness. The simple tools we use to navigate modern life can trigger these negative reactions and upend young lives.
In fact, the national Behavioral Health Barometer shows a significant increase in the prevalence of major depressive episodes among adolescents, which rose from 8.2 percent in 2011 to 12.5 percent in 2016. Experts attribute the rise to factors such as decreased social skills, unrealistic comparisons on social media, and cyber bullying.
Fortunately, A New Leaf is leading the community response by offering families essential resources and tools that help children steer through these problems and improve self-esteem, mental health, sociability, and family cohesion.
Founded in 1971, A New Leaf is a leading provider of crisis and family services in the Valley. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, A New Leaf offers housing, health, and community services at 30 program locations across Maricopa County. A New Leaf’s uniquely comprehensive approach blends outpatient behavioral health services together with mentoring, after school programs, case management, and family engagement for children struggling with trauma, depression, autism, and other health conditions.
A New Leaf offers a world-class medical team, which is composed of caring therapists and licensed professional staff, along with in-home behavioral coaches, nurse practitioners, and three board-certified child adolescent psychiatrists: Dr. David Fife, Dr. Kevin Ann Stahl, and Dr. Eric Hegybeli. They are passionate about their mission: integrating the latest scientific and medical advancements while unlocking every client’s potential.
A New Leaf’s medical team is excited by the consistent growth of services. Its most recent milestone? Expansion of A New Leaf’s West Valley Behavioral Health Center into an integrated care facility, which will open June 12. A New Leaf Family Care will provide primary care and behavioral health support to children and adults, including health screenings, physical evaluations, medication, and family medicine. Dr. Jarilynne Merrill will be the primary physician at the center, and the clinic’s staff will be accepting appointments by phone at 623-934-1991.
“Helping Families…Changing Lives.” That is the mission of A New Leaf, relying on the giving spirit of kind-hearted donors, tireless volunteers, and loyal supporters to improve the lives of vulnerable families in our community. A New Leaf offers compassion and certified care to give children and families a fresh start. You can support A New Leaf’s mission by visiting TurnANewLeaf.org or by calling 480-464-4648. Pay it forward by joining A New Leaf today.