SCAMH aims for students to be familiar with services

Published 2:36 am Friday, July 27, 2018

Fifty-five students from all over the Wiregrass participated in the South Central Alabama Mental Health Center’s Summer Program and toured the Opp Police, Fire Departments and Haynes Ambulance this week to learn about the facilities and equipment.

Staci Wilson, of the South Central Alabama Mental Health Center, said that it is important for the kids to learn about the different departments to make sure they know to not be afraid of them.

“Taking them to places like this makes them comfortable to be around firemen and police officers,” Wilson said. “It teaches them about safety and how to get help if they need it. One of the firemen actually talked about that they are there to help and that they should not be afraid to get help it they need it.”

Other than taking the kids on field trips, the summer program works with the children on behavior modification, handling conflict and anger management.

“We work with kids that need additional services,” Wilson said. “We have two summer programs, one that lasts three weeks in June and then one that is a back to school program that lasts three weeks in July.”

Wilson said that the smaller kids really enjoyed the trip to the departments.

“The kids were able to get in the back of a police car and turn the siren on,” Wilson said. “The fire chief enjoyed having the kids there as well, because usually people don’t get excited about fire trucks and fire sirens but the kids were pumped about it.”

Wilson said that the South Central Alabama Mental Health Center is in the works of having an afterschool program for the children as well.

“We anticipate having a child and adolescent’s afterschool program starting in the middle of August,” Wilson said. “If the kids meet certain criteria, we will pick them up from school, and help them with homework and give additional services if they need it. This just gives them an alternative place to come and get treatment.”

If parents are interested in sending their kids to the SCAMH for the afterschool program, they can call 334-222-2523.