The Covid-19 pandemic has required increased isolation – a challenge for us all, but for youth struggling with mental health, it can be truly harmful and dangerous.
Side by Side’s TAY Space helps vulnerable, transitional age youth (TAY) ages 16-25 who struggle with severe mental and/or emotional disorders. Right now, the youth need personal connection more than ever, and TAY Space is rising to the challenge.
“While our county contract provides for wraparound case management services for 24 youth – we are serving 31 right now, and haven’t discharged anyone. We do whatever it takes to keep each youth out of the hospital, out of jail, and out of homelessness, while giving them the foothold they need to grow and thrive,” says program director Laura Taylor.
Local guidelines dictate that clients can only be seen face-to-face if it’s clinically indicated. “But with our youth, it’s almost always clinically indicated,” says Taylor. Staff must see youth in person to look for potential warning signs, like weight gain/loss, irritability, or lack of personal hygiene. Case managers meet with clients every week, and staff psychiatrists Dr. Catherine Kennedy and Dr. Andrea Hedin provide therapeutic support and medication management.