May is National Mental Health Awareness Month!

Every year, National Mental Health Awareness Month is recognized in May to raise awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. One organization, Youth Villages, is working hard to shed light on the mental health issues faced by so many in our country.


Youth Villages prides itself on the success of the children they provide services to, as well as the work done with their families. A great example is helping a 12-year-old boy, Jeremy, who spent much of his early life dealing with neglect and abuse. While his parents both battled addictions, his grandfather stepped in to help take care of him, which proved to be a great struggle. Jeremy and his grandfather fought hard to overcome the behavioral health challenges associated with the trauma his parents left behind.

After Youth Villages stepped in to help provide services, they learned about Jeremy's love for racecars, and helped him fulfil his dream of being a crew member for a well-known NASCAR team. Jeremy had the best day, smiling the entire time, and allowing his worries to fade away for a moment as he lived out one of his dreams.

Youth across the country, just like Jeremy, are benefitting from the services provided by Youth Villages. For more than 35 years, Youth Villages has provided help to children and their families across 23 states and the District of Columbia. They’ve earned their status as one of the nation’s most promising results- oriented nonprofits with a mission to simply help children and families live successfully.

All programs and services operate under an approach that emphasizes family, measurement, community, intensity, and accountability. At the core of their work, Youth Villages strongly believes children are best raised with their family when possible. This makes their community-based approach unique in that they provide families with specialists and counselors and bring our services right to the home.

Their services are scientifically backed and have been studied and proven successful among those they serve. Their nationally recognized, evidence-based services include:

  • Intercept: an intensive in-home service for children and their families to help prevent the need for foster care.
  • LifeSet: a program which provides a bridge from foster care to adulthood for young adults aging out of foster care.
  • Multisystemic Therapy (MST): services for teens who are at risk of out-of-home placement due to behavioral or juvenile justice issues.

Youth Villages also provides residential services for youth from ages 6-17 at five different campuses across Tennessee and Georgia. They offer experiential therapies centered around building skill sets, emotional recognition, and education. These services include:

  • Brain-based Experiential Recreational Therapy
  • West African Drumming
  • Art Therapy
  • Equine and Pet Therapy
  • Canoeing
  • Sport Therapies

Youth Villages focuses strongly on the mental well-being of children who have experienced trauma and disappointment in the early stages of life. Trauma can lead youth and young adults to a life of behavioral and mental health issues. Addressing the mental health needs of youth is at the core of the work Youth Villages does, and having a stable mindset can have a positive impact on all other aspects of life.

If any of your residents are in need of mental health services, please visit the Youth Villages website for more information.