TBCC collaborates with many different organizations to address varied mental health needs in Boston. Over the years, we have developed a particular specialization in working with at-risk youth.
A lack of adequate mental health care is one of the largest gaps in services for at-risk youth in the City of Boston. TBCC is proud to be playing a role in addressing this critical need during a time when our city's youth face increasing violence. We currently offer three programs at two venues:
Roxbury Community Re-Entry Center
The Roxbury Community Re-Entry Center (CRC) is a program of the state juvenile correctional system. For the past three years, the TBCC has provided individual and group clinical services for youth at the CRC.
CRC Individual Counseling
Our individual counseling program serves adolescents who are re-entering the community after a period of detention imposed by the juvenile court.
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As part of TEEP's summer and after school programs, we offer therapy and support groups for TEEP middle school students. In these groups, the students learn important life skills pertaining to self-esteem, decision-making, and building positive relationships. They also discuss critical issues, such as rising violence in the students' home neighborhoods. The groups help to empower the students to develop their voices in their relationships, communities, and world.
Embedded Clinican Model
On Site Clinical Presence: We have found that having an on-site clinician is invaluable to an organization. Staff members at partner sites have expressed gratitude for having a trusted person, separate from the organization, who is available to listen. One way we have provided a more structured role for this presence is to provide staff with 30-minute blocks throughout the week that staff can sign up for to receive clinical support. The on-site clinician can also provide any of the services listed below.
Individual Counseling: TBCC can provide individual counseling in several ways, depending on the needs of the agency.
1) Counseling services to direct care staff - this helps create a supportive environment to help front line staff avoid burnout, work through secondary trauma, and manage compassion fatigue.
2) Providing clinical services to youth - We have demonstrated that providing clinical services as an embedded partner provides a level of continuity that is vital to positive outcomes for youth. The relationship between the clinician and staff allows the level of support to stretch beyond the therapeutic hour. The feedback from organizations we support in this way is that it adds a level of support that an outside provider cannot because of the ability to work as a team.
Clinical Consultation: Having an embedded clinician gives the agency's staff access to a trained mental health professional to consult with in formal staff meetings, as well as in the midst of daily programming.
Ongoing Self-Care and Staff Training: Our partners see the value in equipping staff to endure the emotional challenges of providing direct services. TBCC has found deep value in providing ongoing support. We have found two types of groups to be most helpful in sustaining and supporting staff.
Self Care Group: Our 12-week self care curriculum operates from a trauma-informed lens and is designed to impact youth workers engaged in urban settings. This experiential learning opportunity enables direct service staff to identify stress and triggers of stress and learn ways to build a foundation for self care;
Staff Training: In additional to self care trainings, many agencies have found it beneficial to have the opportunity to have regular staff trainings around a variety of mental health issues. Topics can range from trauma, secondary trauma, avoiding burnout, identifying signs of mental health issues, etc. We regularly provide trainings and will bring in an expert to partner with us, depending on the topic and the depth of our knowledge. Having an embedded clinician who knows the staff and the dynamics of the job enables TBCC to deliver relevant and timely trainings to best support staff.
Crisis Intervention (as needed): When a crisis occurs, it is important to not just consider the victim but also the family and close friends. Research tells us that it is difficult to access the rational parts of our brain in the midst of stress and trauma. Often, this involves encouraging self-care through proactive interventions. Responsibilities of TBCC clinicians will include:
Responding to the impact of the crisis, through a clinical presence to both staff and family impacted.
Maintaining a relationship with the client after the crisis and assessing what clinical services are needed to adequately support the client back to their baseline level of functioning.
Working with program staff to make referrals to appropriate services, based on the client’s need, and following up with referrals, as needed