Mental health issues don’t just affect adults. Kids, too, struggle with depression, thoughts of suicide, mood disorders, behavioral problems and other emotional troubles because of their life situations or simply their biological tendencies. In fact, an estimated 12 percent of children and youths—30,000 in Delaware—are in need of behavioral health services, says Bruce Kelsey, executive director of Delaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth, Delaware’s largest provider of mental health services to youths.
“We try to intervene early when there is the most chance of success so that kids can go on to become well-adjusted adults,” Kelsey says.
DGS provides a broad range of services for children from birth to age 18, including assessment, mental health counseling, play therapy, an outpatient day treatment program, and a new suicide prevention program for middle school students. As a nonprofit provider, Delaware Guidance Services will help any child, whether the family can pay for the care or not.
“That’s why the support of the Best of Delaware and all our donors means so much to us,” Kelsey says. “It’s the difference between a child getting served and not getting served, and there are so many families in need.”
Being a beneficiary of the Best of Delaware program would be an honor any time, says Anne T. Hogan, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council, but it is especially so this year, when both the magazine and our local Girl Scout council are celebrating their 50th anniversaries. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA.
The Girl Scouts of today have many of the same goals and characteristics as the Girl Scouts that readers might remember from their youths, but the organization also has evolved to meet the needs of today’s girls. Yes, they still go camping and they still sell cookies, which develops crucial entrepreneurial skills.
But as an Advocacy Champion Council—one of just 17 of the 112 councils nationally to be so honored—the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay also is investing heavily in its science, technology, engineering and math initiative, which seeks to prepare girls for the careers of the future.
Nationally and locally, the Girl Scouts have kicked off the “ToGetHer There Campaign,” which focuses on helping girls to become the leaders of tomorrow. “Even today 70 percent of our leaders are men,” Hogan says. “It’s so important that we have balanced leadership. When girls succeed, society succeeds.”
Nemours has focused on helping Delaware children to grow up healthy since 1940. While its dedication has remained steadfast, the way that health care is provided has changed dramatically. To meet those changing needs, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children has embarked on a $250 million expansion and renovation that will allow the hospital “to elevate what we are doing to the next level of providing outstanding, state-of-the-art inpatient care,” says Nemours senior vice president and hospital CEO Kevin Churchwell, M.D.
The centerpiece of the expansion is the addition of two, five-story towers with 144 private patient rooms. These larger, single occupancy rooms allow parents to stay with their children and make it easier for them to remain involved in their children’s care.
“Having space for families to stay here 24/7 is vitally important,” Churchwell says. “We know that we have better outcomes if the family is part of the team taking care of their child.” The renovation will also increase the size and services of the hospital’s emergency department.
“Being a Best of Delaware beneficiary means we can continue to meet the needs of the community,” Churchwell says. It’s also apropos, since Nemours and the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children are among the best that Delaware has to offer.