Club Adds Mental Health Position to Support Youth
This May, during Mental Health Awareness month, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sheboygan County is excited to announce the creation of a new position in the organization – Director of Mental Health Services.
Over more than a decade, there has been a steady and concerning increase in mental health issues among youth. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people, with up to 1 in 5 children ages 3 to 17 in the U.S. with a reported mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder*.
Club CEO Christina Singh said that while the organization has long played an important role in nurturing mental health for kids and teens, the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the Club to sharpen its focus on preventive strategies and support for concerns.
“For years, Clubs have equipped young people with the skills they need to manage their emotions and build resiliency so they can engage in every opportunity that comes their way,” Singh said, “To continue to meet the increasing mental health needs of kids today, we must dedicate the right resources and support.”
The Director of Mental Health Services will enhance trauma-informed practices and take a three-tiered approach to mental health support:
Paige Hoppmann, who has been with the organization for three years and previously served as Unit Director at the Longfellow Youth Club, has stepped into the newly created role.
- “Paige has established trusting, effective relationships with the families we serve and community partners,” said Singh. Her experience and training with trauma-informed care and restorative practices is an asset as she builds the foundation for this position.”
Paige has already begun implementing evidence-based programs for social-emotional wellness, strengthening partnerships in the community, and enhancing mental health training for all staff.
“For kids and teens, it’s critical to nurture mental health and address concerns early, because half of lifelong mental health conditions start by age 14. Advocating the importance of mental health in our communities is something I’m incredibly passionate about. The Club is a trusted space for this work and I’m excited to advance supports for our youth and their families.”
— Paige Hoppmann, Director of Mental Health Services
*Protecting Youth Mental Health: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory (Dec. 2021).