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New youth mental health program launches in Tompkins County

In a significant step toward improving youth mental health services, Tompkins and Tioga counties have introduced the Youth Assertive Community Treatment (Youth ACT) program, spearheaded by The Children’s Home. The initiative, which was officially inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Ithaca on Friday, aims to offer a more personalized and effective approach to addressing mental health crises among young people aged 10 to 21, particularly those at risk of requiring in-patient services.

The Youth ACT program is designed to provide comprehensive support within the comfort of the youth’s own environment, whether at home or elsewhere, fostering a setting in which individuals feel more comfortable sharing and addressing their challenges. Program Director Noel Mayhood emphasized the importance of understanding each youth’s unique needs and the benefits of engaging with them in familiar surroundings to offer tailored support.

Boasting an interdisciplinary team, including mental health professionals, nurse practitioners, and peer advocates, the program offers a wide range of services such as medication management, counseling, and case management. This collaborative effort aims not only to treat mental health issues but also to maintain the youth within their homes and communities, ensuring they receive the intensive care and support necessary for their well-being.