Based on our CATCH Planning Funds program grant results, we will pilot the concept of Kaitlin's Table at the reinvigorated Y Teen Center. We will have a room in the house that will be outfitted with Kaitlin's Table. Therapists and trained Peer-to-Peer counselors will provide a safe and non-threatening environment for them to establish relationships and receive assistance in referrals and outreach services regarding behavioral and mental health issues.
Kaitlin's Table is designed to break down barriers, to reach out to youth and adolescents who are struggling with life's challenges at their level, with an approach that involves trained volunteers, including community members, students and peers, and behavioral health professionals, to provide appropriate support and care referrals in a non-threatening manner. Promoting mental health and providing early intervention to prevent later disease sequelae are all appealing concepts. Given the low rate of access for youth and adolescents to treatment for mental disorders, screening for disorders and providing early, effective intervention is an over-riding goal. We hope this pilot will be replicated locally in our region, in other community and teen centers, and as outreach in novel sites frequented by the target population.