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Tykes & Teens Media Center

Welcome to the Tykes & Teens Media Center where you’ll find our press releases, press kit, news coverage and video.  And look for our new newsletter coming soon!

We are passionate about strengthening children and families and building a healthy resilient community for years to come with our high-quality, innovative, evidence-based programs and services.  We appreciate your support in helping us share the importance of our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through prevention, education and treatment.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.

Media Contact:  news@tykesandteens.org

PRESS RELEASES

[fusion_accordion type=”” boxed_mode=”” divider_line=”no” inactive_icon=”” active_icon=”” icon_boxed_mode=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” border_size=”1″ border_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” background_color=”” hover_color=”” divider_color=”” divider_hover_color=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”16″ title_color=”” icon_size=”” icon_color=”” icon_box_color=”” icon_alignment=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=”” toggle_hover_accent_color=”” toggle_active_accent_color=””][fusion_toggle title=”July 25, 2022 – Ditch the Device and Disconnect to Connect during August Family Fun Month; Visit Tykes & Teens on Facebook and Instagram, tag us, and share photos and videos of how you #DitchTheDevice and #DisconnectToConnect” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (July 25, 2022) – In celebration of August Family Fun Month, Tykes & Teens is encouraging families – yes, that means you too parents! – to Ditch the Device and Disconnect to Connect!

“We look forward to sharing ideas for families to disconnect from their smartphones and devices and connect with each other in meaningful ways in order to strengthen families and build resilient youth,” said Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services Dorothy Oppenheiser.

Throughout the month of August, Tykes & Teens will be sharing videos on Facebook and Instagram showing how our families enjoy quality time with their families.  Look for everything from family game night, to story time with our littles, cooking favorite recipes, outdoor activities and more.

How can you participate – and win family fun prizes?

 

  1. Throughout the month of August, visit Tykes & Teens on Facebook @TykesTeens and Instagram @tykesteens, tag us, and share photos and videos of how you #DitchTheDevice and #DisconnectToConnect.
  1. Join Tykes & Teens for the following family fun activities that are free and open to the public in August:
  • Martin County Library System ‘Teen Community of Service’

This is a fun and easy way for teens to earn community service hours on your own schedule! This self-paced volunteer program has a monthly theme that teaches important community topics and allows you to create projects that either benefit you and your family, or give back to our community. If you complete everything in the kit, you can earn up to 23 hours per month, but the amount you do is up to you!  For more info, contact Teen Specialist, Lacey, at llatour@martin.fl.us.

  • August 13 – 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Super Saturdays hosted by Kiwanis Club of Stuart at Kiwanis Youth Park.

Tykes & Teens will be providing free activities and giveaways!

Why Disconnect to Connect?

  • Use of mobile devices can have a negative impact on parent/child interactions and emotional functioning.
  • 32% of children reported feeling “unimportant” when parents use their phones during meals and family times.
  • Children can feel sad, mad, angry and lonely when parents use cellphones.

Family Connection Can:

  • Improve academic performance
  • Reduce likelihood of drug/alcohol use and risky behavior
  • Improve social skills
  • Encourage resilience
  • Increase self-confidence

Ways families can connect, engage and thrive:

  • Enjoy family activities together
  • Play a game
  • Enjoy the outdoors – fly a kite, build sandcastles, splash in the water, go for a nature hike or bike ride
  • Visit one of our community’s many farmer’s markets & cook a meal together
  • Share a family hug together

Research shows that when families eat together, youth are:

  • 52% more likely to choose not to use illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco
  • 60% more likely to engage well in school
  • 27% more likely to say they have an excellent relationship with parents

Get the Conversation Going – dinnertime questions to get the whole family talking!

  • What is your favorite family tradition?
  • What are your three least favorite things to do?
  • When are your most frightened? What makes you feel better?
  • Name your ancestors. Where were they from? What would you ask them?
  • What is your favorite song? Sing it!
  • What foods or smells remind you of when you were younger?
  • If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would you choose and why?
  • Define courage. Who is the most courageous person you know?
  • What do you say or do when someone compliments you?
  • What is your favorite household chore? Least favorite?
  • If your family only made handmade gifts for the holidays, what would you make and why?
  • What makes you feel most welcome when you get home?
  • If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
  • What are some things that make you feel stressed or anxious at school, home or work?
  • What is the first thing that you recall from your childhood?
  • If your house caught on fire, how would you escape? Where would you meet outside?
  • What was dinnertime like when you were growing up?
  • If you could change one thing about your appearance, what would it be and why?
  • Who is or was your favorite teacher and why?
  • If you were to be granted one wish, what would it be?
  • In what ways are you generous? Could you be more generous?
  • What kinds of things hurt your feelings?
  • How can you tell if someone is paying attention to you?

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ children’s mental health programs and services, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for over 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations throughout the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound and Port St. Lucie, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”June 18, 2022 – Tykes & Teens Back-to-School Video Series; Free series provides tips, tool and resources to help parents and students build resilient return to school ” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (July 18, 2022) – To prepare parents and students for a mentally resilient return to school this fall, Tykes & Teens is once again sharing its free “Mental Health Matters” back-to-school video series.  Each segment features leading mental health experts, educators and students discussing practical tips, tools and resources on a variety of topics, including anxiety, depression, creating routines for stability, and more.

“We are excited to once again share this back-to-school series which remains just as important and relevant today as we continue facing the devastating impact the pandemic is having on the mental health of our youth,” said Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services Dorothy Oppenheiser.  “Our goal is to provide prevention services that give students and parents tools and resources to support them in navigating these continuing challenging times so they emerge with resilience.”

“Mental Health Matters” Back-to-School Video Series:

“Feeling Anxious?  You’re Not Alone”

Overwhelmed, stressed and worried about going back to in-person school and activities?  How to best prepare, anxiety signs for parents and students to look for, and how to move forward with resiliency.

  • Alethia DuPont, Psy. D. – Tykes & Teens Director of Outpatient Services
  • Plus a teen perspective

Watch at https://bit.ly/FeelingAnxiousYouAreNotAlone

“Depressed or Just Down?”

How do you support a student who is experiencing depression?  How do you know if you’re depressed or just down?  How do you know when to reach out for professional help?  Signs to look for and tools to create a resilient return.

  • Tamie Gilarski, LCSW, RPT-S – Tykes & Teens School Based Program Coordinator, Psychotherapist, Play Therapist Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor

Watch at https://bit.ly/DepressedOrDown

“Creating Routines for Stability”

How to develop routines that create stability and resiliency as you return to in-person school and activities.  Tips to creating a path toward preparing to return to school.

  • Andrea Greenlee, LCSW – Tykes & Teens Director of School Based Services and Psychotherapist
  • Monique Coleman, MS – Tykes & Teens Prevention Coordinator
  • Hannah Greenlee – A “Changing Vibes, Changing Lives” Student Perspective

Watch at https://bit.ly/CreatingRoutinesForStability

“Practical Steps for Students”

Following more than a year of crisis and uncertainty, we’ll provide practical steps from an educator’s perspective on how students can overcome the stress and anxiety of returning to in-person school.

  • Dorothy Oppenheiser – Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services
  • Monique Coleman, MS – Tykes & Teens Prevention Coordinator
  • Anthony Ferro – Jensen Beach High School Teacher

Watch at https://bit.ly/PracticalStepsForStudents

“Enhancing Young Children and Family Resilience”

Tools for childcare staff and parents to support children ages 0 to 5 through day-to-day transitions and as start or return to school.  Tykes & Teens is the sole provider of Infant Mental Health Services and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation on the Treasure Coast.

  • Laura Girlando, LMHC – Tykes & Teens Director of Infant Mental Health
  • Elizabeth Appleton, IMH-E® – Tykes & Teens Director of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Watch at https://bit.ly/EnhancingYoungChildrenResilience

Additional resources are available at https://www.tykesandteens.org/mental-health-matters-series/.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ children’s mental health programs and services, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for over 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations throughout the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound and Port St. Lucie, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”June 11, 2022 – Tykes & Teens Appoints Linda L. Kloss as Interim Executive Director” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (June 11, 2022) – The Board of Directors of Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for over 25 years, has appointed Linda L. Kloss to serve as the agency’s Interim Executive Director.  Kloss is replacing outgoing CEO Eric Garza who has resigned for personal/family reasons.

Her appointment is effective June 13, 2022.  In her new role, Kloss will be responsible for leading all of the agency’s operations and will also be assisting the Tykes & Teens Board of Directors in its search for a permanent Chief Executive.

Kloss brings decades of experience in nonprofit leadership and governance for a range of health care organizations.  She served as CEO of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) for 15 years.  AHIMA is a global nonprofit association representing health information professionals who manage patient information and health data.  Kloss has served on the Board of Directors for Tykes & Teens Board of Directors since 2021, a role that she will resign while serving on staff.

“Appointing this caliber of Interim Executive Director demonstrates we are prioritizing both children’s mental health and management of our organization,” said Tykes & Teens President and Chairman of the Board Ken Kenworthy.  “We welcome Ms. Kloss and appreciate the continuity she will provide.”

“It is the mission of Tykes & Teens that drew me to serve in a volunteer role on the Board of Directors and its Finance Committee, as well as its Development Committee for Indian River County,” said Tykes & Teens newly appointed Interim Executive Director Linda L. Kloss.  “I am honored and eager to now work with Tykes’ very committed and talented professional staff during this time of transition.’’

Linda L. Kloss, Tykes & Teens Newly Appointed Executive Director

As CEO of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) from 1994 to 2011, she lead a period of unprecedented growth and expanded influence for this well-respected professional society of 60,000 health information management professionals.

Following her retirement, Kloss served in thought leadership roles providing consulting to health care nonprofits, technology and service organizations.  In 2011, Kloss was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), chaired its Privacy, Confidentiality and Security Subcommittee, and served on its Standards and Executive Subcommittees. NCVHS advises the Secretary on national health data policy. She is author of Health Information Governance: Lessons from the Field. (AHIMA Press)

 

Prior to AHIMA, Kloss served in senior leadership roles with companies at the leading edge of health care information technology and quality improvement.  She has served as a college trustee, director and board chair for a number of health care nonprofits, and served as president for condominium and a homeowner’s associations.

Kloss holds a Master’s Degree in organizational development with a concentration on nonprofit change leadership, a Baccalaureate Degree in health information management, and she was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the College of St. Scholastica Duluth, Minnesota in recognition of her leadership to the profession and to the College.  She has been received recognition for leadership by Modern Healthcare, the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Medical Informatics Association and AHIMA.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for over 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ children’s mental health programs and services, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”May 31, 2022 – Newly Promoted Tykes & Teens Development Officer and Director of Communications and Marketing are Decking the Halls!” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (May 31, 2022) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, has promoted two of its own to lead the agency’s development, communications and marketing efforts.  Samantha Messina has been appointed Development Officer and Misty Stoller has been appointed Director of Communications and Marketing.

“We are truly happy to have this dynamic duo that collaborates so well together in carrying out our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “We are looking forward to Misty and Sam leading the way in the strategic communications and philanthropy endeavors for our community as our children and families continue to need mental health education and support more than ever.”

Just another day at Tykes & Teens for newly promoted Development Officer Samantha Messina (left) and newly promoted Director of Communications and Marketing Misty Stoller (right)!  While they continue to #ShineALight during May Mental Health Awareness Month, they are also already decking the halls and gearing up for the agency’s 15th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights taking place November 13 – 19, 2022, at Flagler Center in Downtown Stuart.

Samantha joined Tykes & Teens a year ago overseeing the agency’s grant applications and contracts.  In her new role, Sam is responsible for planning, organizing, cultivating, and securing funding opportunities for the agency, as well as community engagement.  A Martin County native and Jensen Beach High School alumna, she completed her degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) in 2020 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music.  Sam’s career in nonprofit development began back in 2016 when she fell in love with fundraising during an internship with a local youth symphony in Kansas City.  After her internship, she transitioned into a part-time role in that organization, building her career in nonprofit development and grant writing.  Her experience includes various types of nonprofit organizations spanning from performing arts to mental/behavioral health, as well as housing and human services.

Misty joined Tykes & Teens nearly two years ago following a 25-year career of successfully developing and executing results-driven integrated communications plans.  She is responsible for developing and implementing the comprehensive strategic plan for all of the agency’s communications and marketing efforts, including corporate communications and branding, digital marketing and communications, community engagement, and media relations.  Prior to Tykes & Teens, Misty served local, national and international clients with a full spectrum of corporation communications, public relations and marketing communications services for aviation, hospitality, and travel and tourism clients.  During her time in the corporate world, Misty also spearheaded numerous corporate social responsibility programs and charitable giving projects for her clients.  In addition, she spent hundreds of hours each year volunteering in her local Broward County community as PTA president, chairing school advisory boards, leading numerous fundraising efforts for area schools and youth sports, and served on the city’s education advisory board.  She also assisted in setting up a non-profit organization focused on mental health awareness and suicide prevention.  Misty attended Purdue University and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in marketing from the University of South Florida.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ children’s mental health programs and services, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

For more information on the 15th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights, visit https://www.tykesandteens.org/festival-of-trees-2022/.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Feb. 14, 2022 – Tykes & Teens Announces Schedule for 2022 “Mental Health Matters” Video Series – “Building Resilience” Episodes to Air Monthly on Facebook @TykesTeens” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (February 14, 2022) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, has announced the schedule for its 2022 monthly Mental Health Matters – Building Resilience video series.

Each 15- to 30-minute video segment features conversations with leading mental health experts, educators, community organization and students discussing practical tips, tools and resources to effectively navigate and cope with mental health-related challenges by building resilience.

Episodes will air on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:30 pm on Tykes & Teens’ Facebook channel @TykesTeens.  Not on Facebook?  No worries.  The videos, as well as additional resources, will also be available at www.tykesandteens.org/mental-health-matters-series/.

“As we continue facing the devastating impacts COVID is having on our children and youth, providing high quality preventions services are more important than ever,” says Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services Dorothy Oppenheiser.  “Our goal with this year’s ‘Mental Health Matters’ series is to provide parents and students with tips, tools and resources to build their capacity to help support those who are struggling to effectively navigate and build resilience during this challenging time.”

The first episode – COVID’s Devastating Impact on Children’s Mental Health – airs on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.  Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW, and Mental Health Collaborative of Indian River County Executive Director Brett A. Hall LCSW, MBA, will be discussing the current mental health crisis and the devastating impact COVID is having on our children, families and community, and the need for a ‘whole-of-society’ collaborative approach.

Children today are experiencing unprecedented uncertainly, fear, anxiety, depression, abuse and neglect. According to the recently-released U.S. Surgeon General Advisory – Protecting Youth Mental Health – youth depressive and anxiety symptoms doubled during the pandemic, with 25% experiencing depressive symptoms and 20% anxiety. In early 2021, U.S. emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to 2019. Reduced in-person interactions during the pandemic made it harder to recognize signs of child abuse and mental health concerns. The crisis in our local communities is just as staggering.

Tykes & Teens’ “Mental Health Matters – Building Resilience” 2022 Schedule

  • Wed., Feb. 23 at 4:30 pm – COVID’s Devastating Impact on Children’s Mental Health
  • Wed., March 30 at 4:30 pm – Social Media and Technology’s Impact on the Mental Health of Our Youth
  • Wed., April 27 at 4:30 pm – Alcohol Awareness Month: Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Vaping and Self-Medication as Coping Mechanisms – Signs to Look for and Resources Available
  • Wed., May 25 at 4:30 pm – May Mental Health Awareness Month: Removing the Stigma; Addressing and Breaking Barriers to Mental Health
  • Wed., June 29 at 4:30 pm – Building Resiliency Skills, Positive Identity and Self-Esteem
  • Wed., July 27 at 4:30 pm – Preparing for Return to School
  • Wed., Aug. 31 at 4:30 pm – Building Resilience Begins at Birth – Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Matters
  • Wed., Sept. 28 at 4:30 pm – Suicide Prevention Month: Concerned About a Friend or Child? How to Have the Conversation
  • Wed., Oct. 26 at 4:30 pm – Wraparound Targeted Case Management to Support Mental Health

To learn more about Tykes & Teens’ high-quality evidence-based programs and services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/get-help/.

For more information on how you can make an impact in the lives of children and families on the Treasure Coast, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/.

Tykes & Teens’ Mental Health Matters video series is proudly supported by the Children’s Services Council of Martin County.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Feb. 8, 2022 – Hope Fest – Live Outdoor Concert for Good – Taking Place March 12, 2022, at Elliott Museum; Proceeds benefitting Elliott Museum, House of Hope, SafeSpace and Tykes & Teens” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

Tickets available now at one.bidpal.net/hopefest/welcome

 

PALM CITY, Fla. (February 8, 2022) – Hope Fest, a live outdoor concert for good, is taking place Saturday, March 12, 2022, to benefit Elliott Museum, House of Hope, SafeSpace and Tykes & Teens.

The outdoor family-friendly event is taking place at the Elliott Museum and will feature:

  • The Kris Heaton Band – With 5 nationally charted songs and 2 million YouTube views, Kris has played with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Huey Lewis, Gregg Allman, Molly Hatchet, Leon Russell and more.
  • Jay Schod – Voted Artist of the Year in Connecticut, Jay has played with Chicago, Joe Bonamassa and more
  • Magician Mr. Medina
  • Food by Philly Down South Cafe

Tickets are available at https://one.bidpal.net/hopefest/welcome.

VIP tickets are $100 and include:

  • Stage front VIP tent seating
  • Choice of prime rib sandwich, salmon Philly, mahi sandwich or chicken Caesar wrap, plus cole slaw, potato salad, pasta salad
  • Free drink ticket for beer, wine, soft drink or water
  • All-day museum admission

General admission tickets are $40 and include:

  • Food & beverages available for purchase: hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, potato salad, mac and cheese
  • First-come seating available or bring your own chair
  • All-day museum admission

Kids under 12 are free.

All proceeds from the event will benefit four Martin County charitable organizations, including:

  • Elliott Museum – Enriches the community through its wide variety of exhibits, collections, and lectures, all designed to serve the interests of the people who live in and visit the Treasure Coast.
  • House of Hope – Provides food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, information and referral, and life-changing case management services to Martin County residents in need.
  • SafeSpace – Empowers the safety and well-being of adult victims of domestic violence and their children by providing intervention, prevention and advocacy services.
  • Tykes & Teens – Prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through prevention, education and treatment.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Feb. 1, 2022 – Brunch for Babies Benefitting Children’s Mental Health Taking Place March 30, 2022 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club; Tickets available now include brunch, mimosas, fashion show and silent auction” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (February 1, 2022) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, is hosting Brunch for Babies on March 30, 2022.

Taking place at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club, attendees will enjoy a full brunch, mimosas, fashion show and silent auction, all while raising vital funds for the high quality mental health care that Tykes & Teens provides.

Brunch for Babies tickets are available now for $100 or $750 for a table of eight at Brunch for Babies.

“Without question, COVID is having a devastating impact on the mental health of our children,” says Dr. Theresa Kelso, Psy.D., Tykes & Teens board member and chair of the agency’s Indian River Development Committee.  “Childhood mental health problems impact individuals, families, schools and our community as a whole.  When left untreated, this has a lasting generational impact persisting for years or decades.  The demand for high quality preventive and intervention services for the children of our county is far outpacing available resources.  In short, funding is needed now more than ever to support children’s mental health in Indian River County.”

According to the recently released U.S. Surgeon General Advisory “Protecting Youth Mental Health”:

  • Youth depressive and anxiety symptoms doubled during the pandemic, with 25% experiencing depressive symptoms and 20% anxiety.
  • In early 2021, U.S. emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to 2019.
  • Reduced in-person interactions during the pandemic made it harder to recognize signs of child abuse and mental health concerns.

The crisis in our local Treasure Coast communities is just as staggering.  Tykes & Teens reports:

  • The demand for services is up 300%.
  • High risk situations are up 100%.
  • The complexity and length of treatment has increased profoundly.

For more info and to purchase tickets, visit Brunch for Babies.

For more info on sponsorship opportunities, visit www.tykesandteens.org/brunch-for-babies/ or email courtneyn@tykesandteens.org.

Tykes & Teens Indian River Development Committee:

Dr. Theresa Kelso, Psy.D., Brett Hall, Linda Kloss, Patricia Knipper, Anne McCormick, Pam O’Donnell, Gloria Quesada.

Brunch for Babies 2022 sponsors:  Dale Sorensen Real Estate, George E. Warren, Lily Pad, Purple Plum Boutique.

Tykes & Teens has a rich 25-year history of prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through prevention, education and treatment. The agency began offering much-needed services in Indian River County in 2016.

Today, Tykes & Teens’ Indian River County programs and services include:

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Dec. 28, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Awarded Over $3 Million in Grant Funding This Year; Continued Community Collaboration Needed to Address Growing Children’s Mental Health Crisis” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (December 28, 2021) – Through close collaboration with more than 20 local well-respected organizations, Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, has been awarded over $3 million in grant funding this year to support its children’s mental health programs and services across Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.

During 2021, despite the pandemic resulting in limited in-person services, Tykes & Teens provided nearly 25,000 mental health sessions for clients throughout the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County, as well as reaching thousands of youth through its numerous prevention services.

“We are truly grateful for the continued support we have received this year from our valued partners who share our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health,” says Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Your funding is a testament to the high-quality services we provide.  Because of you, we are able to continue providing access to quality care for children in our community regardless of their ability to pay.”

“We have only begun to see the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health,” adds Garza.  “Without question, the need for high-quality children’s mental health services will continue to increase as we enter the new year and beyond.  It truly takes a village to address the current children’s mental health crisis we are facing.  Additional funding to fill this increased demand for services so desperately needed by children and families is needed now more than ever.”

According to the “Protecting Youth Mental Health Advisory” published this month by the U.S. Surgeon General, recent national surveys of young people have shown alarming increases in the prevalence of certain mental health challenges.  In 2019, one in three high school students and half of female students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, an overall increase of 40 percent from 2009.  Since the pandemic began, rates of psychological distress among young people, including symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders have increased even further.

  • Youth depressive and anxiety symptoms doubled during the pandemic, with 25 percent of youth experiencing depressive symptoms and 20 percent experiencing anxiety symptoms.
  • In early 2021, emergency department visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same time period in early 2019.
  • Pandemic-related measures reduced in-person interactions among children, friends, social supports and professionals such as teachers, school counselors, pediatricians and child welfare workers. This made it harder to recognize signs of child abuse, mental health concerns and other challenges.

While there is clearly a large critical need for children’s mental health services, Garza points a bright side.  “There is hope!  Children are resilient.  With proper care and support, children can improve self-esteem; recover from sexual abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse; improve anxiety and depression symptoms; and develop the valuable skills they need to live a healthy and independent life.  We live in a shared community and by continuing to work together as a community, we will continue making a meaningful impact by strengthening our children and families, and building a healthy resilient community for years to come.”

To learn more about how you can support children and families during this mental health crisis in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ programs and services focused on providing high quality children’s mental health, visit www.tykesandteens.org/get-help/ or call 772-220-3439.

2021-2022 Grants Awarded to Tykes & Teens

Andrew & Robin Hunt

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Youth Enrichment Services: $15,000

Children’s Services Advisory Committee

  • Infant Mental Health: $97,000
  • Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension (ALTOSS): $45,000
  • Healthy Families Indian River County: $36,800

Children’s Services Council of Martin County

  • Prevention Services (BOTVIN Life Skills and Alcohol Literacy Challenge): $151,710
  • Infant Mental Health: $156,560
  • General Mental Health and Youth Enrichment Services: $578,890
  • Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension (ALTOSS): $107,759

Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County

  • After School General Mental Health Services: $150,000
  • Infant Mental Health: $110,995
  • TRUST After School Program Staff Training: $107,679

Cleveland Clinic Martin Health

  • Youth Enrichment Services: $5,000

Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties

  • Infant Mental Health/ Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: $9,000

Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County

  • Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: $26,000

Grand Harbor Community Outreach

  • Infant Mental Health/ Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: $20,000
  • Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension (ALTOSS): $3,500

Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club

  • Infant Mental Health: $10,000

Hobe Sound Community Chest

  • Hobe Sound Community Services: $45,000

Indian River County Hospital District

  • CLASS School-Based Program: $117,000
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: $83,362

John’s Island Community Service League

  • Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension (ALTOSS): $30,000

PNC Bank

  • Okeechobee School-Based Services: $30,000

Premier Realty Group Charitable Fund at The Community Foundation Martin – St. Lucie

  • Outpatient Services: $2,500

Roy A. Hunt Foundation

  • Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension (ALTOSS): $5,000

Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network

  • General Mental Health Outpatient Counseling, School-Based Services, Prevention Services, Infant Mental Health, Wraparound Targeted Case Management: $1,365,411

St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners

  • Infant Mental Health and Wraparound Targeted Case Management: $35,000

United Way of Martin County

  • Youth Enrichment Services and Social Communicative Competency Program: $30,000

United Way of Okeechobee

  • School-Based Services: $2,000

United Way of St. Lucie County

  • Infant Mental Health $40,000

William and Helen Thomas Charitable Trust

  • General Mental Health Outpatient Services: $30,000

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Dec. 20, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Appoints Jose Zirena as Chief Financial Officer” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (December 20, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, has appointed Jose Zirena, MBA, as Chief Financial Officer.

“We are thrilled to have Jose Zirena join the Tykes & Teens team as our Chief Financial Officer,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Jose’s extensive experience in turning around and growing healthcare organizations and nonprofits will be instrumental in ensuring Tykes & Teens’ continued sustainability and growth in serving children and families across the Treasure Coast with high quality mental health services for many years to come.”

“It is a pleasure to be a part of an organization that is committed the health and well-being of kids in the community,” said Tykes & Teens CFO Jose Zirena, MBA.  “When I learned that Tykes & Teens had a sliding fee scale for its clients and would not turn away anyone because of their inability to pay, I said, where do I sign?”

Jose brings more than 20 years of financial leadership experience to Tykes & Teens with a focus on building sustainable operations, securing funding and obtaining commercial financing for healthcare organizations.  Before joining Tykes & Teens, Jose served as Chief Financial Officer for Indian Stream Health Center in New Hampshire, Whole Family Health Center in Fort Pierce and Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley in Vermont, as well as key financial leadership roles in Miami, including Camillus Health Concern, Health Choice Network, Latin America Mission and MCC Services.

Jose earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of West Georgia, a Master of Arts Diploma in Educational Administration from the University of Lima in Peru and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Education from Florida Bible College.

When not working with numbers, you will find Jose traveling with his family, reading a book, or challenging friends and strangers to a game of chess.

Tykes & Teens Chief Financial Officer Jose Zirena, MBA

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ programs and services focused on providing high quality children’s mental health, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We offer services from more than 50 locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Dec. 6, 2021 – 14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Raises Over $200,000 for Children’s Mental Health” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (December 6, 2021) – Thousands of festival-goers kicked off the holiday season during this year’s Festival of Trees & Lights in downtown Stuart from November 14 – 20, 2021, raising over $200,000 for children’s mental health.

The annual tradition included a number of free community festivities, as well as a numerous special events throughout the week to raise vital funds for the high quality mental health care services that Tykes & Teens provides for children and families across the Treasure Coast, regardless of their ability to pay.

It was a record-setting year for the Festival of Trees & Lights on multiple fronts:

  • Over 100 volunteers and committee members gave more than 1,000 hours of their time.
  • Local businesses, organizations and individuals donated and decorated more than 75 trees, wreaths, décor items that generated 8,500 raffle ticket sales totaling $30,000.
  • Nearly 800 pancakes were served up to over 350 children and families during breakfast and photos with Santa.
  • Nearly 30 sponsors contributed tens of thousands of dollars.

“The support that this incredible community of ours displayed throughout the Festival of Trees & Lights is unbelievable!” says Tykes & Teens Development Officer and Festival of Trees & Lights Chair Courtney Nientimp.  “I am grateful for the amazing Festival committee, our Dames and Deer ambassadors, and the hundreds of volunteers that poured their heart and soul into this event.  I cannot thank you enough for the countless hours and effort you gave.  To our sponsors, donors and community, thank you one million times over.  Because of you, we are prioritizing children’s mental health and you are making it possible for kiddos across the Treasure Coast to receive care, no matter their ability to pay.  Together, we are making a difference in the lives of thousands of children.”

2021 Festival of Trees & Lights Committee

Carol Ball, Valerie Barcik, Evey Bassion, Reina Bianchi, Cory Carter, Jeannie Dieffenbaugher, Lorett Fribourg, Jennifer Hearn, Paula Hundt, Lynn Lloyd, Anne McCormick, Cathleen Owen, Kate Roberts, Roseann Ryba, Amy Thornton, Sue Whittington, Dianne Young

2021 Dames & Deer Ambassadors

Grande Dame & Head Reindeer: Amy Elizabeth Thornton & Bob Thornton of O’Donnell Impact Windows & Storm Protection.  Dames: Jessica Bohner of Premier Realty Group, Sara Borlaug of Capstone IT, Amanda Foster of Rude Bwoy Spirits, Christina Franco of Hampton Inn & Suites Stuart North, Robin Hall of Out2News.com, Evie Klaassen of Colorado Pawn & Jewelry, Meghan Shirey of Ocean Republic Brewing, and Lisa Teetor of CSI: Palm Beach.  Reindeer: Sam Bruning of Southern Magnolia Investment Management, Lamar Moore of Ecostrike, Gary Owen of OWEN Insurance Group, Matthew Right of F45 Training South Stuart, Dale Rockefeller of Culver’s, Chet Tart of Vistage Florida, and Jason Young of CPR Investments

2021 Festival of Trees & Lights Sponsors

Signature Sponsor – Jim Mondello & Jayne St. Marie

Platinum Sponsors – Bank of America, Bessemer Trust

Silver Star Sponsors – Bart’s Blue Star Foundation; Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors; Crary Buchanan Attorneys at Law; Culver’s of Stuart & Jensen Beach; FPL; Macy’s; Paula & Wayne Hundt; Rehmann; Rick Carroll Insurance; Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA; Two Men and A Truck

Blue Star Sponsors – Espinal, Stern & Whittington at Morgan Stanley; Level 4 Telecom; Sandhill Cove

Special Thank You – UBU Brands; Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney; Premier Realty Group; ABA Cares Florida; Colorado Pawn & Jewelry; Elliot Paul & Company Auctions; Gumbo Limbo Coastal Kids; Stuart Main Street; Madison’s Miracles; Rude Bwoy Spirits

Joy to the Girls Tasting Sponsors – 3Natives, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Cafe Boonma Thai Cuisine, Chef Phil Muchow, Crabby’s Oyster Bar, Duffy’s Sports Grill, Elegant Events & Custom Catering, Fresh Rosemary, Kilwins, Olympic Taverna, Red Lobster, Signature Sweets, Sneaki Tiki and Spritz City Bistro

To learn more about Tykes & Teens programs and services, visit www.tykesandteens.org.

To learn more about how you can make a difference in children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

     

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Oct. 25, 2021 – Premier Realty Group Charitable Fund at The Community Foundation Martin – St. Lucie Awards $2,500 to Tykes & Teens” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

Funding providing sand trays and telehealth equipment for four children’s mental health outpatient offices

PALM CITY, Fla. (October 25, 2021) – Premier Realty Group Charitable Fund at The Community Foundation Martin – St. Lucie has awarded $2,500 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding is providing sand trays for play therapy, as well as webcams to further the agency’s telehealth services from outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound and Port St. Lucie.

Sand trays are an instrumental part of Tykes & Teens evidence-based play therapy that allows children and youth to express themselves more freely through play while processing various mental health issues, including trauma, abuse and neglect.  Webcams are an essential component of the agency’s telehealth services which have been critically needed throughout the pandemic and have become an integral part of Tykes & Teens’ ongoing services.

“We are very grateful to Premier Realty for their continued support of children’s mental health,” says Tykes & Teens Director of Outpatient Services Dr. Alethia DuPont, Psy. D.  “Because of you, we are able to continue providing the highest quality of children’s mental health services that are so desperately needed – now more than ever.”

“I am so proud of the impact that the Premier Realty Charitable Fund has had on the programs and services at Tykes & Teens,” said Premier Realty Group Broker/Owner Jessica Bohner.  “During our tour of the facility, we were able to see the sand trays and experience their importance first-hand.  We hope they will bring healing to many children in the future.”

Sand trays made possible by Premier Realty Group Charitable Fund are an instrumental part of Tykes & Teens evidence-based play therapy used to treat children suffering from trauma, abuse and neglect. 

Tykes & Teens provides high quality affordable mental health outpatient services for children in need across the Treasure Coast.  In addition to offering services virtually via HIPAA-compliant telehealth, the agency provides outpatient services from offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound and Port St. Lucie, including:

  • General Mental Health
  • Family Abuse Treatment
  • Youth Enrichment Services (YES)
  • T.A.R.S. – Strengthening Teens in Acquiring Resiliency for Success
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • LGBTQ Support Group

For more information on all of Tykes & Teens’ programs and services focused on prioritizing children’s mental health, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can make a difference in the life of a child today by supporting children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Sept. 15, 2021 – 14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Benefitting Tykes & Teens Taking Place November 14 – 20, 2021 in Downtown Stuart” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

Tickets available now at www.tykesandteens.org

PALM CITY, Fla. (September 15, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, is once again kicking off the holiday season with its 14th annual Festival of Trees & Lights. Taking place at the Flagler Center in Downtown Stuart from November 14-20, 2021, the much-anticipated, annual week-long series of festivities brings joy and cheer to the Treasure Coast while raising vital funds for the high quality mental health care that Tykes & Teens provides.

“The past year-and-a-half have been difficult for everyone and mental health services in our community have become more important than ever,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Children and families are experiencing unprecedented uncertainty and fear, feelings of anxiety and depression are high, and issues of abuse and neglect have risen.  As a result, the need for Tykes & Teens’ counseling services has nearly tripled over previous years.  The need for additional funding for these services is vital and the revenue raised during the Festival of Trees & Lights helps to ensure all children and families seeking help can receive the highest quality care, regardless of their ability to pay.”

14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Event Schedule

Sun., Nov. 14, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm – Family Day – FREE and Open to the Public

Mon., Nov. 15, 5:30 – 8:00 pm – Joy to the Girls Cocktail Party ($55)

Tue., Nov. 16, 7:45 am – 9:00 am – Networking Breakfast with Stuart/Martin, Palm City, and Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce

Wed., Nov. 17, 3:00 – 5:30 pm – Afternoon Champagne Tea ($55)

Fri., Nov. 19, 6:00 – 8:30 pm – “A Not So Silent Night” Live Auction & Cocktail Party ($150)

Sat., Nov. 20, 8:30 – 10:30 am – Breakfast and Photos with Santa – FREE with online registration

For more info and to purchase tickets, visit Festival of Trees & Lights or email courtneyn@tykesandteens.org.

For more info on how you can donate a tree, wreath or centerpiece, visit www.tykesandteens.org/tree-wreath-centerpiece-sponsorships-2021/.  Businesses, civic/social organizations, schools, offices, families or individuals may donate trees, wreaths and centerpieces. The only cost to sponsors is the donation of a tree, wreath or centerpiece materials, lights and decorations.  The deadline to register to donate a tree, wreath or centerpiece is September 30, 2021.

For more info on sponsorship opportunities, visit www.tykesandteens.org/festival-of-trees-sponsorships/.

It’s only September, but this year’s Tykes & Teens’ energetic team of 2021 Dames & Deer ambassadors are busily working to make the 14th annual Festival of Trees & Lights the best ever – and most importantly, helping deliver quality children’s mental health programs and services to those in need in our community!  Grande Dame & Head Reindeer: Amy Elizabeth Thornton & Bob Thornton of O’Donnell Impact Windows & Storm Protection.  Dames: Jessica Bohner of Premier Realty Group, Sara Borlaug of Capstone IT, Amanda Foster of Rude Bwoy Spirits, Christina Franco of Hampton Inn & Suites Stuart North, Robin Hall of Out2News.com, Evie Klaassen of Colorado Pawn & Jewelry, Meghan Shirey of Ocean Republic Brewing, and Lisa Teetor of CSI: Palm Beach.  Reindeer: Sam Bruning of Southern Magnolia Investment Management, Lamar Moore of Ecostrike, Gary Owen of OWEN Insurance Group, Matthew Right of F45 Training South Stuart, Dale Rockefeller of Culver’s, Chet Tart of Vistage Florida, and Jason Young of CPR Investments.

2021 Festival of Trees & Lights Sponsors:  Bessemer Trust; Bart’s Blue Star Foundation; Culver’s of Stuart & Jensen Beach; Macy’s; Paula & Wayne Hundt; Rehmann; Rick Carroll Insurance; Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA; Two Men and A Truck; Espinal Stern & Whittington; Sandhill Cove; UBU Brands; Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney; Colorado Pawn & Jewelry; Elliot Paul & Company Auctions; Gumbo Limbo Coastal Kids; Spritz City Bistro; Stuart Main Street.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Sept. 1, 2021 – Hobe Sound Community Chest Awards $45,000 to Tykes & Teens – Funding to support Hobe Sound school-based and outpatient services, Project Graduation and Project TEACH” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (September 1, 2021) – Hobe Sound Community Chest has awarded $45,000 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding will support children’s mental health services in Hobe Sound, including Tykes & Teens’ school-based services and outpatient services, as well as Project Graduation and Project TEACH (Training and Educating All Child Healers) program.

“Thank you Scott Berry and Hobe Sound Community Chest!” says Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Your generosity matters, because mental health matters every day for every child and family.  Because of you, we are able to provide the critical mental health services for children and families that are needed now more than ever, including Hobe Sound and all of the Treasure Coast.”

“For over 20 years, the Chest has supported the work of Tykes & Teens,” said Hobe Sound Community Chest Executive Director Scott Berry.  “Tykes & Teens has helped countless children, youth and families in our community. They are a critical resource in our continuum of care.”

Hobe Sound Community Chest Executive Director Scott Berry and Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW

School-Based Services

Tykes & Teens’ School-Based Services allow teachers and guidance counselors to be a part of the team in helping children and adolescents with mental health issues that impact their school performance and behavior.  Providing these services at schools enables the agency to meet students where they are during the day, eliminating transportation barriers.  Last school year, Tykes & Teens provided services at four Hobe Sound-area schools, including Sea-wind Elementary, Hobe Sound Elementary, Murray Middle School and South Fork High School.

Outpatient Services

Tykes & Teens provides a variety of outpatient services from its Hobe Sound office and virtually, including: General Mental Health, Family Abuse Treatment, Youth Enrichment Services (YES), S.T.A.R.S. – Strengthening Teens in Acquiring Resiliency for Success, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and an LGBTQ Support Group.

Project TEACH

The objective of Tykes & Teens’ Project TEACH – Training and Educating All Child Healers – is to provide training for Dunbar Early Learning Center direct service staff to qualify for the Florida Association of Infant Mental Health – Infant Family Associate (IFA) Endorsement®. Tykes & Teens is uniquely qualified to provide this training and support that includes Trauma Informed Care, to help participants recognize and respond to the effects of trauma in children, and Reflective Supervision, a key step in strengthening a relationship-based resilience-promoting culture.

Project Graduation

Project Graduation is a highly successful and vital annual program that prevents tragedy due to alcohol and drug-related incidents on graduation night.  It is a supervised all-night event for the graduating class on graduation night, complete with food, entertainment and prizes, allowing students the opportunity to celebrate graduation in a safe, alcohol and drug-free environment.  Statistically, there is an increase in teen deaths from alcohol-related accidents during prom and graduation weekend parties around the country.  Project Graduation has helped buffer our community from alcohol and drug-related deaths, car accidents and significant police stops involving graduates.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ programs and services focused on prioritizing children’s mental health, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”August 19, 2021 – United Way of St. Lucie County Awards $40,000 to Tykes & Teens; Funding to support agency’s Infant Mental Health programs and services” open=”no” class=”” id=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” title_font_size=”” title_color=”” hue=”” saturation=”” lightness=”” alpha=”” fusion_font_family_content_font=”” fusion_font_variant_content_font=”” content_font_size=”” content_color=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (August 19, 2021) – The United Way of St. Lucie County has awarded $40,000 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding will support the agency’s Infant Mental Health programs and services in St. Lucie County.

“Thank you United Way of St. Lucie County for your continued support of our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “We greatly appreciate your partnership, including your support in providing needed supplies during the pandemic.”

“We are thrilled to be able to provide this grant to Tykes & Teens for a critical need in our community – Infant Mental Health,” said United Way of St. Lucie County President and CEO Jessica Parrish.  “We look forward to a wonderful partnership!”

United Way of St. Lucie County President and CEO Jessica Parrish and Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW

What is Infant Mental Health?

The first few years of a child’s life are a blueprint for their entire future. When very young children are exposed to traumatic events, it increases their risk of long-term mental and physical health problems. Addressing issues early means healthier children who will require less intervention later in life and can reach their full potential.

Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health therapists utilize Child Parent Psychotherapy and other evidence-based interventions for children who have experienced at least one traumatic event and as a result are exhibiting challenging behavior, attachment difficulties and/or experiencing social-emotional delays.  The primary goal is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her caregiver, to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and to improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning within all environments. Infant and toddler primary caregivers are active participants in treatment, which often includes play for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver. With older children, the child is a more active participant in treatment, which uses multiple interventions as a vehicle for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver, and builds resiliency and heals in the context of a relationship. When the caregiver has his or her own history of adverse experiences, the therapist helps the caregiver understand how this history can affect the child-caregiver relationship and helps the caregiver interact with the child in new developmentally-appropriate ways.

Infant Mental Health Helps:

  • Improve a child’s ability to regulate emotions
  • Strengthen the relationship between the child and caregivers
  • Heal from a traumatic experience for the parent and/or child that is interfering with a healthy attachment
  • Reduce suspension/expulsion from childcare or preschool
  • Enhance childcare center staffs’ use of social-emotional practices so that all caregivers are equipped to facilitate healthy social and emotional development

Tykes & Teens provides a variety of services from its outpatient office in Port St. Lucie and via telehealth, including general mental health counseling, infant mental health, early childhood mental health consultation, trauma informed care, targeted case management and psychiatric services, as well as school-based and after school services.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ programs and services, visit www.tykeandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”August 11, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Appoints Cheryl Christie as Chief Operating Officer” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (August 11, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, has appointed Cheryl Christie, MS, as Chief Operating Officer.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Cheryl to the Tykes Team!” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Cheryl’s nonprofit leadership experience combined with her clinical background will be instrumental in continuing our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health and our vision of building resilient communities that value mental health.”

“I’m thrilled to be part of a team that supports children and provides access to quality mental health services which positively impacts the lives of children and families in a significant way, as well as communities as a whole,” said Tykes & Teens COO Cheryl Christie.

Before joining Tykes & Teens, Cheryl served as the Executive Director at the United Service Organizations (USO) in Fort Drum since 2018.  She began her nonprofit work as the Director of Operations at Mount Carmel Veterans Center from 2016 until 2018.  She also previously served as a therapist at a psychiatric hospital, and she operated her own practice in Colorado from 2014 until 2018.  Cheryl earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Ashford University in 2009 and her Masters in Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology from Capella University in 2013.  A mom of four, Cheryl is passionate about Tykes & Teens’ mission and supporting children and families.  Outside of work you’ll find Cheryl spending time with her four kids, dogs and enjoying the Florida sun.

Tykes & Teens Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Christie, MS

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ programs and services focused on prioritizing children’s mental health, visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”August 4, 2021 – United Way of Martin County Awards $30,000 to Tykes & Teens – Funding to support agency’s Youth Enrichment Services and Social Communicative Competency Program” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (August 4, 2021) – The United Way of Martin County has awarded $30,000 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding includes $20,000 to support the agency’s Youth Enrichment Services and $10,000 to support the agency’s Social Communicative Competency Program.

“The United Way of Martin County has been a valued Tykes & Teens partner for 13 years and we are very grateful for their continued support in prioritizing children’s mental health,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “As the number of youth struggling with social interactions and those on the autism spectrum continuing to rise, there is a great need for our social-cognitive skills building groups that help children on the spectrum and those with social skills deficits to better succeed at school and in the community.”

“Living through the pandemic has been hard for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for those who face unique challenges,” said United Way of Martin County President/CEO Carol Houwaart-Diez.  “More than ever, it’s critical that essential mental health services like those provided by Tykes & Teens be available for youth who are struggling.”

Tykes & Teens’ Social Communicative Competency Program provides social-cognitive skills building groups for elementary, middle and high school-age youth who struggle to achieve successful social interactions and those on the autism spectrum.  Building social skills at a young age can prevent a lifetime of difficulties, including bullying, low self-esteem, difficulties in relationships, difficulties in work settings, and more.  This Tykes & Teens’ program is designed to help children and teens strengthen skills, including active listening, perspective taking, self-awareness, conversation initiation and appropriate use of humor.  The program provides fun and dynamic interventions during 14-session social-cognitive skills building groups based on Social Thinking® concepts, designed to target and remediate underlying social-cognitive deficits that lead to difficulties navigating the social world using evidence-based practices.  The therapist to client ratio rarely exceeds 1:5.

Tykes & Teens’ Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program provides individual, family and group services for at-risk children and adolescents to prevent substance use and to eliminate use by adolescents who have already used substances.  The program also provides individual and group therapy for youth who struggle with emotional regulation and suicidality.

The YES Program includes a number of intervention components:

  • STARS (Strengthening Teens in Acquiring Resiliency for Success) – STARS gives local pre-teens and adolescents who are struggling with alcohol, drugs or other dangerous behaviors the chance to make positive long-term change. Each youth participates in a two-phase 24-week program, including group sessions, individual/family sessions and a six-session twice-monthly parent group. STARS uses evidence-based curriculum to help youth identify underlying reasons for their substance use and alternative coping strategies. Individual/family sessions seek to eliminate risk factors within the family system, as well as address co-occurring disorders.  The parent support group focuses on providing support to parents, providing them with psycho-education on teen development, including changes in the teenage brain that explain some of the youth’s behaviors, effective strategies for parenting teenagers, and education regarding drug facts and current trends with specific signs and substances of which to be aware.
  • DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) – Tykes & Teens’ DBT therapy helps middle and high school students learn to control emotions, manage conflict, resolve family issues and tolerate things not going the way the youth intended. The program is for youth who struggle with emotional dysregulation, including self-injurious behavior such as cutting, burning and suicidality.  DBT is an evidence-based program which assists youth in developing skills to manage strong emotions in the healthiest way possible. DBT was originated in order to assist those who were chronically suicidal. Youth learn that they can be themselves and feel strong emotions without necessarily acting on them. Two major components clients learn during DBT are acceptance and change skills, which help them manage difficult emotions and decrease conflict. Youth must first learn to accept themselves and then learn ways to change their emotional responses in order to best succeed in life.
  • In addition to these groups, Tykes & Teens provides a Parent Support Group which gives parents psycho-education regarding normative teen development, emotional regulation (for their teens as well as themselves), healthy communication, boundary setting, relationship strengthening and substance abuse knowledge.
  • LGBTQ Support and Social Group called PLUS – Tykes & Teen also offers a support and social group for LGBTQ teens called People Loving and Uniting Safely.

United Way of Martin County Board Member and Chair Elect Martin County Supervisor of Elections Office Kherri Anderson; Tykes & Teens Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern Kevin Lane, M.S., NCC; Tykes & Teens Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Agnieszka W. Marshall, Psy.D., CAP; Tykes & Teens Director of Outpatient Services Dr. Alethia DuPont, Psy. D.; Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW; United Way of Martin County President/CEO Carol Houwaart-Diez

(photo credit:  Chaplain L C Campbell Jr with Treasure Coast Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory)

For more information, visit Tykes & Teens’  Youth Enrichment Services or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”August 2, 2021 – Celebrate August Family Fun Month with Tykes & Teens – Watch, like, comment, share and follow for chance to win family fun prizes!” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (August 2, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, invites you to join us for August Family Fun Month!

Each week during August, Tykes & Teens will be posting videos on Facebook and Instagram showing how our families (and families of our partners) enjoy quality time with their families.  Join us for everything from family game night, to story time with our littles, cooking favorite recipes, outdoor activities and more.

“As we dedicate August as Family Month Month, we look forward to sharing ideas for families to connect in meaningful ways,” said Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services Dorothy Oppenheiser.

To participate, simply follow Tykes & Teens on Facebook at @TykesTeens or Instagram at @tykesteens.  Then like, comment and share for a chance to win family fun prizes.

For more information, email monique@tykesandteen.org.

Thank you to our prevention program supporters Children’s Services Council of Martin County and C.O.R.E. (Comprehensive Offender Rehabilitation and Education Program).

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”July 29, 2021 – Grand Harbor Community Outreach Awards $20,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant Mental Health” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (July 29, 2021) – Grand Harbor Community Outreach has awarded $20,000 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding will support the agency’s Infant Mental Health services.

Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health is an evidence-based program for children from birth to age 5 that is done in multiple different settings.  Tykes & Teens is the only Infant Mental Health provider in the region serving clients from newborn to age five and their families.  In addition, Tykes & Teens provides Mental Health Consultation and is the only provider of this high-fidelity, evidence-based programming on the Treasure Coast.

“We are grateful to Grand Harbor Community Outreach for supporting our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “In addition to family and individual therapy, this funding allows us to support infants and families and foster the social emotional development in early childcare settings in order to promote long-term community wellness.”

“In today’s world of stressful situations and events, mental health has taken on a greater importance than ever,” said President of Grand Harbor Community Outreach Kathy Tonkel.  “Grand Harbor Community Outreach is extremely proud to support Tykes & Teens and the life-changing work that they do with both very young children and teenagers.  The assistance they offer to teachers at our childcare centers is also critical.”

President of Grand Harbor Community Outreach Kathy Tonkel and CEO of Tykes & Teens Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW

What is Infant Mental Health and Mental Health Consultation?

The first few years of a child’s life are a blueprint for their entire future. When very young children are exposed to traumatic events, it increases their risk of long-term mental and physical health problems. Addressing issues early means healthier children who will require less intervention later in life and can reach their full potential.

Infant Mental Health Helps:

  • Improve a child’s ability to regulate emotions
  • Strengthen the relationship between the child and caregivers
  • Heal from a traumatic experience for the parent and/or child that is interfering with a healthy attachment
  • Reduce suspension/expulsion from childcare or preschool
  • Enhance childcare center staffs’ use of social-emotional practices so that all caregivers are equipped to facilitate healthy social and emotional development

Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health therapists utilize Child Parent Psychotherapy and other evidence-based interventions for children who have experienced at least one traumatic event and as a result are exhibiting challenging behavior, attachment difficulties and/or experiencing social-emotional delays. The primary goal of this program is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her caregiver, to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and to improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning within all environments.  Infant and toddler primary caregivers are active participants in treatment, which often includes play for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver. With older children, the child is a more active participant in treatment, which uses multiple interventions as a vehicle for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver, and builds resiliency and heals in the context of a relationship. When the caregiver has his or her own history of adverse experiences the therapist helps the caregiver understand how this history can affect the child-caregiver relationship, and helps the caregiver interact with the child in new developmentally-appropriate ways.

In addition to family and individual therapy, Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health therapists and staff are collaborative partners within select Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs in the Treasure Coast, providing Mental Health Consultation (MHC).  Mental Health Consultation is a preventative-based approach focused on fostering the social emotional development of all young children at early childhood education programs to promote long-term emotional health and wellness.  Tykes & Teens therapists are highly specialized in child development, evidence-based classroom practices, and the effects of stress and trauma.  The agency’s therapists and staff develop relationships with caregivers at early childhood education programs to support building the adult’s capacity and skills to strengthen the healthy social and emotional development of all children at the center – early and before formalized intervention is needed.  Therapists and staff support the development of nurturing and responsive relationships to decrease incidents of challenging behaviors, reduce preschool suspensions/expulsions and support the need for a program-wide effort in using culturally-responsive practices and addressing implicit bias.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/infant-mental-health/ or call 772-220-3439.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

# # #

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”July 26, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Announces 2021-2022 Board of Directors – Agency appoints new board president and welcomes two new board members ” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (July 26, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, has announced its 2021-2022 Board of Directors.

Superintendent of Okeechobee County Schools Ken Kenworthy, who previously served as Tykes & Teens Board Secretary, took the helm as the agency’s Board President effective July 1, 2021.  Kenworthy succeeds F. Shields McManus who served as President for the past two years and is continuing to serve on the board.

In addition, Tykes & Teens welcomed two new board members:  Indian River County resident Linda L. Kloss and St. Lucie County resident Teresa Bishop.

“We are honored to have a diverse, supportive and highly-engaged board of directors from throughout the Treasure Coast who provide a broad range of professional expertise to the agency and who are passionate about serving children and families,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.

“I am both humbled and honored to accept the presidency of an organization steeped in the tradition of quality and excellence,” says Tykes & Teens Board President Ken Kenworthy.  “The services offered through Tykes & Teens are unparalleled, the commitment of the staff to reach our mission is commendable, and the expansion to all four Treasure Coast counties has provided much-needed treatment and counseling to assist our youth from infants up to adulthood. I am proud to be a part of such a remarkable organization.”

       

Ken Kenworthy, Linda L. Kloss, Teresa Bishop

Ken Kenworthy, an Okeechobee County resident, has served as Superintendent of Schools for Okeechobee County School for the past decade.  As a graduate of Purdue University, he began his career as an agriculture teacher.  With 32 years of service to the District, he has functioned as a school based administrator, director of career and technical education and later led Administrative Services.  During his superintendency, the district’s graduation rate has increased, mental health programs have flourished, and industry certifications and dual enrollment programs have multiplied causing significant improvement under the state’s accountability system.  He operates as the largest employer in Okeechobee County with 880 staff members serving 6,200 students with an annual budget of $95 million.  Kenworthy has been recognized as the Florida State Agriscience Teacher of the Year, District Teacher of the Year and has completed numerous leadership programs such as the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy, Superintendent’s Chief Executive Officer Leadership Development Program and the National Institute of School Leadership Executive Development Program.  He serves as chair of the Okeechobee Children’s Services Council, Trustee for the Florida School Boards Insurance Trust, Florida Association of District School Superintendents Board of Directors and member of the Okeechobee Educational Foundation.  His primary goal has been creating conditions for learning that lead to college and career readiness, including high quality instruction provided by talented employees focusing on educational equity. To accomplish that, students’ often need mental health supports. Partnerships with outstanding agencies like Tykes & Teens help make this goal a reality.

Linda L. Kloss, an Indian River County resident, served as CEO of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) from 1994 to 2011, leading a period of unprecedented growth and expanded influence for this well-respected professional society of 60,000 health information management professionals. Following her retirement, she served in thought leadership roles providing consulting to health care nonprofits, technology and service organizations. In 2011, Linda was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), chaired its Privacy, Confidentiality and Security Subcommittee, and served on its Standards and Executive Subcommittees. NCVHS advises the Secretary on national health data policy. She is author of Health Information Governance: Lessons from the Field (AHIMA Press). Prior to AHIMA, Linda served in senior leadership roles with companies at the leading edge of health care information technology and quality improvement. She has served as a college trustee, director and board chair for a number of health care nonprofits, and served as president for a condominium and a homeowner’s associations. Linda holds a Master’s Degree in organizational development with a concentration in nonprofit change leadership, a Baccalaureate Degree in health information management, and she was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the College of St. Scholastica Duluth, Minnesota in recognition of her leadership to the profession and to the College. She has been received recognition for leadership by Modern Healthcare, the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Medical Informatics Association and AHIMA.

Teresa Bishop, a St. Lucie County resident, serves as the Executive Director for the Roundtable of St. Lucie County, a 501(c) organization, and works closely with executive level leaders to accomplish system change that results in improved outcomes for youth. She is also the Founder and Director of Provision Training and Consulting, LLC.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in Personnel Management from the University of Central Florida. Over the past 25 years, she has worked both nationally and abroad to improve capacity of communities, federal and state agencies, as well community and faith-based organizations, to achieve positive outcomes. She has focused her efforts in the children and family arena and in recent years has championed causes around community development, youth development and juvenile justice issues. Teresa has provided support to a number of federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Labor, and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She has and continues to work closely with state, local and grassroots organizations to provide training and technical assistance to improve staff and program development, strategic planning and organizational development to impact community change and system reform.

Tykes & Teens 2021-2022 Board of Directors:

President – Ken Kenworthy, Okeechobee County, Superintendent of Schools

Treasurer – Jamie Russell, St. Lucie County, Rehmann

Secretary – Pat Knipper, Indian River County, VNA

Governance Chair – Anne McCormick, Martin County, Keller Williams Realty

Immediate Past President – F. Shields McManus, Martin County, Mediator, Retired Judge

Directors:

  • Teresa Bishop, St. Lucie County, Roundtable of St. Lucie County
  • Brooke Flood, Indian River County, School District of Indian River County
  • John Gonzalez, Martin County, Engel & Volkers
  • Theresa Kelso, Psy.D., Indian River County, Retired Clinical Psychologist
  • Linda L. Kloss, Indian River County, Healthcare Nonprofit Consultant
  • Hailey Thostenson, Martin County, Bessemer Trust
  • Michelle Villwock, Martin County, Martin County School District

Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer & Ex-Officio Board Member

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”July 15, 2021 – Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties Awards $9,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant Mental Health Consultation” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (July 15, 2021) – The Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties has awarded a $9,000 grant to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding will support the agency’s Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program.  Tykes & Teens is the only provider of this high-fidelity, evidence-based programming on the Treasure Coast, and the only Infant Mental Health provider in the region serving clients from newborn to age five and their families.

“We are grateful to the Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties for their support as we collaboratively strive to promote a long-term system’s change for children, families and the community as a whole by fostering social emotional development in early childcare settings,” says Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Tykes & Teens to support children and families in Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties,” said Marsha B. Powers, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties.  “Our collaboration will provide additional supports to our Early Learning providers and the children and families we serve.”

Tykes & Teens CEO Erica Garza, MHA, LCSW; Tykes & Teens Director of Childcare Mental Health Consultation Elizabeth Appleton; Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties CEO Marsha B. Powers; Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties Director of Provider Services Pat Houston

As part of its Infant Mental Health programming and services for individuals and families, Tykes & Teens collaborates with childcare centers throughout the Treasure Coast by providing Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC).  The goal of IECMHC is to build the capacity of adult caregivers to strengthen and support the healthy social and emotional development of young children within the classroom setting.  Through this evidence-based prevention approach, highly specialized child development therapists work with childcare center caregivers to promote social competence and addressing challenging behavior, early and before formalized intervention is needed.  Through on-site Mental Health Consultation, therapists are able to create safe relationships with childcare center staff to address teacher stress, use of culturally responsive classroom practices, and the use of a trauma-informed care lens.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/infant-mental-health/ or call 772-220-3439.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/ or donate now.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”July 1, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Preparing Parents and Students for Return to School with Free Summer Series: “Mental Health Matters – Returning with Resilience” to Premiere on Facebook @TykesTeens” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (July 1, 2021) – There is no question COVID-19 has been a very long and devastating pandemic.  Despite the lifting of restrictions, vaccinations and returning to school, the pandemic’s aftermath is continuing to have an impact on the mental health of our children, families, teachers, childcare providers and the community as a whole.  The need has never been greater to focus on mental health awareness and removing the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.

To prepare parents and students for a mentally resilient return to school, Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, is launching a free summer video series.  “Mental Health Matters – Returning with Resilience” will premiere on Tykes & Teens Facebook channel @TykesTeens during July and August, and features 15-minute video segments with leading mental health experts, educators and students that will include conversations with practical tips, tools and resources to help parents and students navigate back into a routine and emerge from the pandemic with resilience.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and students prepare to return to more in-person school and other activities following over a year of isolation, many are struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed, and feeling anxious and depressed,” says Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services Dorothy Oppenheiser.  “Our goal is to provide prevention services that give students and parents tools and resources that allow them to navigate these challenging times and emerge with resilience.”

Mental Health Matters – Returning with Resilience” Facebook Premiere Schedule

Wed., July 14 at 1:00 pm – “Coming Out of the Woods”

  • Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW – Tykes & Teens CEO
  • Jay Biscanin, M.A., CBHCMS – Tykes & Teens Manager of Targeted Case Management, Certified Wraparound Coach and Facilitator, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
  • What can we expect as we emerge from the pandemic and return to in-person school and activities?  There is hope!  Children are resilient!  Practical tips and resources to support your child coming out of the pandemic strong and in good mental health.  Plus local resources available in our community to support you.

Wed., July 21 at 1:00 pm – “Feeling Anxious?  You’re Not Alone”

  • Alethia DuPont, Psy. D. – Tykes & Teens Director of Outpatient Services
  • A Teen Perspective
  • Overwhelmed, stressed and worried about going back to in-person school and activities?  How to best prepare, anxiety signs for parents and students to look for, and how to move forward with resiliency.

Wed., July 28 at 1:00 pm – “Depressed or Just Down?”

  • Tamie Gilarski, LCSW, RPT-S – Tykes & Teens School Based Program Coordinator, Psychotherapist, Play Therapist Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor
  • How do you support a student who is experiencing depression?  How do you know if you’re depressed or just down?  How do you know when to reach out for professional help?  Signs to look for and tools to create a resilient return.

Wed., August 4 at 1:00 pm – “Creating Routines for Stability”

  • Andrea Greenlee, LCSW – Tykes & Teens Director of School Based Services and Psychotherapist
  • Monique Coleman, MS – Tykes & Teens Prevention Coordinator
  • Hannah Greenlee – A “Changing Vibes, Changing Lives” Student Perspective
  • How to develop routines that create stability and resiliency as you return to in-person school and activities.  Tips to creating a path toward preparing to return to school.

Wed., August 11 at 1:00 pm – “Practical Steps for Students”

  • Dorothy Oppenheiser – Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services
  • Monique Coleman, MS – Tykes & Teens Prevention Coordinator
  • Anthony Ferro – Jensen Beach High School Teacher
  • Following more than a year of crisis and uncertainty, we’ll provide practical steps from an educator’s perspective on how students can overcome the stress and anxiety of returning to in-person school.

Wed., August 18 at 1:00 pm – “Enhancing Young Children & Family Resilience”

  • Elizabeth Appleton – Tykes & Teens Director of Childcare Mental Health Consultation
  • Tools for childcare staff and parents to support children ages 0 to 5 through day-to-day transitions and as start or return to school.  Tykes & Teens is the sole provider of Infant Mental Health Services and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation on the Treasure Coast.

To watch the new “Mental Health Matters – Returning with Resilience” series, visit Tykes & Teens on Facebook @TykesTeens.  Have a question you would like answered during the series?  Email mistys@tykesandteens.org.

Tykes & Teens’ Prevention Services programming has provided more than 500 community events for adolescents and parents to prevent substance use, bullying, dating violence, suicide and other dangerous behaviors among youth, and also administers prevention and social emotional learning curriculum in schools.  The agency’s prevention programming focuses on raising community awareness to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment; engaging youth in fun, safe and healthy activities; and providing free educational events for parents and youth.  Tykes & Teens’ prevention programs include:

For more information on Tykes & Teens Prevention Services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/prevention-services, call 772-220-3439 or email gethelp@tykesandteens.org.

The Children’s Services Council of Martin County and C.O.R.E. (Comprehensive Offender Rehabilitation and Education) provide funding for Tykes & Teens’ prevention programming and services.

To learn more about how you can support children’s mental health in our community, visit https://www.tykesandteens.org/give-help/.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We provide affordable quality mental health services for children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

# # #

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”June 24, 2021 – Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County Awards $26,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (June 24, 2021) – The Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County has awarded a $26,000 grant to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding will support the agency’s Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program.  Tykes & Teens is the only provider of this high-fidelity, evidence-based programming on the Treasure Coast, and the only Infant Mental Health provider in the region serving clients from newborn to age five and their families.

“We greatly appreciate The Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County supporting our commitment to fostering social emotional development in early childcare settings in order to promote long-term community wellness,” says Elizabeth Appleton, Tykes & Teens’ Director of Childcare Mental Health Consultation.  “This investment allows us to provide much-needed services that reduce disparities and supports a systems change resulting in long-term emotional healthiness benefits for our children, families and the community as a whole.”

“We have partnered with Tykes & Teens for several years on Infant Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care initiatives through funding provided by both our Children’s Service Council and the United Way of St. Lucie County,” said Tony Loupe, CEO, Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County.  “We have seen the great work their specialized therapists do with children and families experiencing challenges, along with providing supports for the teachers of our childcare centers.  When we were informed by Florida’s Office of Early Learning, Department of Education, of the ability to receive additional funding through the Federal Preschool Development Birth through Five Renewal Grant focusing on mental health initiatives, we immediately thought of Tykes & Teens.  This funding will enhance our existing partnership commitment to our most vulnerable and youngest of children we serve while strengthening the childcare teacher and parent’s skills to support children’s healthy social emotional development.”

As part of its Infant Mental Health programming and services for individuals and families, Tykes & Teens collaborates with childcare centers throughout the Treasure Coast by providing Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC).  The goal of IECMHC is to build the capacity of adult caregivers to strengthen and support the healthy social and emotional development of young children within the classroom setting.  Through this evidence-based prevention approach, highly specialized child development therapists work with childcare center caregivers to promote social competence and addressing challenging behavior, early and before formalized intervention is needed.  Through on-site Mental Health Consultation, therapists are able to create safe relationships with childcare center staff to address teacher stress, use of culturally responsive classroom practices, and the use of a trauma-informed care lens.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/infant-mental-health/ or call 772-220-3439.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

# # #

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”May 17, 2021 – Coming out of the woods: Engaging children through summer to build resiliency following COVID-19″ open=”no” class=”” id=””]

by Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW

As we celebrate May Mental Health Awareness Month, the need has never been greater to focus on mental health awareness and removing the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  We must face the devasting impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the mental health of our children, families and community.

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34

Over the past year, Tykes & Teens has seen:

  • 300% increase in demand for services
  • Clients exhibiting high risk symptoms, such as suicidal ideation and self-injurious behaviors, has doubled
  • Client length of treatment has increased from 6 to 8 months

What can we expect to see in our children over the next six months?

This has been a long pandemic and it will take just as long or longer for us to get back to ‘normal.’  We can’t walk eight miles into the woods and expect to run out in five miles.

Anxiety will continue, including separation anxiety after being quarantined for a year, more parents going back to work in person and children returning to in-person school.  Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which is a combination of repetitive and uncontrollable thoughts (obsession) and ritualistic behaviors (compulsions), are very likely as they tend to emerge in areas of germs and safety.  Generalized anxiety disorder is a collection of symptoms, such as excessive worrying and difficulty with sleep, that occur for at least six months.  Depression will continue as children are still processing feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and unprocessed grief over deaths, missed holidays, graduations, weddings and family gatherings.

Everyone displays their traumatic experiences and stress in different ways through different periods of time.  In addition, children are on different developmental levels.  According to The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2021), “resiliency is the result of a combination of protective factors, such as biological resistance to adversity and strong relationships with important adults in their family and community.”  Additionally, “the single most common factor for children who develop resiliency is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver or other adult.”

How can parents best help keep their children engaged through the summer and prepare for school in the fall?  There are several wonderful strategies.

First, we need to start with self-care.  We cannot take care of those around us if we are not taking care of our personal mental health and wellbeing.  We must also take the time to truly listen to those around us, including our children, and supporting their mental health.

A few tips and tools:

  • Begin with observing your child’s behaviors. All children display behaviors in patterns and routines.  Look for sudden changes in behaviors, such as avoidance or dislike in activities that used to be a norm.  Know the 10 Moms for Mental Health red light warning signs of potential mental health issues in children and teens.
  • Talk to your children about behaviors and emotions together. Make sure you are in a space to listen and contain your child.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes.  There are a variety of resources, including tips from Mental Health First Aid, such as conversation starters and how to improve your listening.
  • Processing grief may require multiple stages and younger children may benefit from using art or other nonverbal techniques.
  • Stick to a routine and trust the process when returning to school or activities.
  • Promote self-care by using a thermometer to know when stress is rising.
  • Most importantly, know that there is hope and children are very resilient! With your support, they can overcome anxiety and depression, and they can come out of this pandemic strong and in good mental health.

For more information and resources on getting help, visit www.tykesandteens.org/get-help/ and www.tykesandteens.org/paint-the-town-green/, email gethelp@tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

For more information on how you can give help and support children’s mental health in our community, visit www.tykesandteens.org/donate-now/, email givehelp@tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW, is the CEO of Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  He holds a Master of Health Administration, is a licensed clinical social worker, a certified addictions professional, a clinical sexologist, and a qualified supervisor for registered clinical social work interns.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”May 6, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Awarded Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation from The Joint Commission” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (May 6, 2021) – Tykes & Teens has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.  This is the fourth time in a row that Tykes & Teens has earned this accreditation, including 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020.

Tykes & Teens underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review December 29 – 30, 2020.  During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with Behavioral Health Care and Human Services standards spanning several areas, including emergency management, infection prevention and control, and leadership among others.

The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Tykes & Teens for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”

“Earning The Joint Commissions Accreditation for the fourth time in a row is a true testament to Tykes & Teens’ 100-plus passionate and professional team members who work tirelessly each and every day to provide the highest quality of mental health and prevention services for the children and families we serve throughout the Treasure Coast,” Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.

While The Joint Commission accreditation review happens every three years, Tykes & Teens’ preparation for the accreditation review is an ongoing process of continuous oversight of the agency’s policies and procedures in order to maintain compliance and ensure delivery of the highest level of standards.  All new and revised standards are reviewed and interpreted by Tykes & Teens’ Continuous Quality Improvement Committee prior to policy and procedure updates and revisions.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

# # #

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”May 4, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Invites Treasure Coast Communities to ‘Paint the Town Green’ for May Mental Health Awareness Month” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (May 4, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years, is inviting the families and communities it serves throughout the Treasure Coast to come together to ‘Paint the Town Green’ for the month of May in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month.

“As we continue facing the staggering impacts the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the mental health of our children, families and communities we serve, the need to focus on mental health awareness and self-care has never been greater,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Taking care of our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as our physical health.”

History of Mental Health Month:

Mental Health Month (also known as Mental Health Awareness Month) was established in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization, to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. It is to raise awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional and mental well-being of children, families and communities.

Why Mental Health Matters – Every Day:

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34

Tykes & Teens’ ‘Paint the Town Green’ initiative is focused on two areas of building mental health awareness:

  • SELF-CARE and reinforcing the importance of caring for our personal mental health and wellbeing; and
  • LISTENING to those around us and supporting their mental health and wellbeing in order to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health support.

How can you get involved with ‘Paint the Town Green’?

Self-Care Daily Challenge:

Celebrate the importance of focusing on mental health and wellbeing by participating in Tykes & Teens’ daily self-care challenge.  The calendar includes daily prompts and activities to help focus on our individual wellbeing, which in turn allows us to better support those around us.  Download the calendar at https://www.tykesandteens.org/paint-the-town-green/.

Get Your Green On and LISTEN! 

As part of its commitment to removing the stigma and shame associated with mental health, Tykes & Teens is encouraging the community to get your green on and take the time to truly listen to those around us.  Tykes & Teens will be distributing a variety “LISTENING” materials throughout the community during May, including stickers, wristbands and ribbons.  You can show that you care about the importance of mental health and listening by wearing yours and getting your green on.  Throughout the month Tykes & Teens will also be sharing tips on how to effectively listen and resources for mental health support.

Participate in May Events:

Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

There’s still time to register and join us tomorrow on Cinco de Mayo for an evening of cooking virtually alongside renowned Chef Leanne Kelleher from The Tides of Vero Beach!  Our first Cooking for Kids’ Sake benefits the vital mental health services Tykes & Teens provides for children and families in our community.  Participation is not limited to Vero Beach or even Florida! To register, visit https://www.tykesandteens.org/cooking-for-kids-sake/.

Thursday, May 13, 2021, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Urban Air Adventure Park in Port St. Lucie is hosting a give-back night for Tykes & Teens plus discounted attraction passes when you mention Tykes & Teens when purchasing your pass!  Enjoy go-karts, laser tag, virtual reality, spin zone, ropes courses, trampolines and more while benefitting the mental health programs Tykes & Teens provides.  20% of every attraction pass purchase during the two hour event will be donated to Tykes & Teens.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Get your green on and receive free custard!  Culver’s of the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Jensen Beach and Tradition, is giving a free scoop of fresh frozen custard with purchase for everyone wearing green to support Mental Health Awareness.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”April 21, 2021 – Helping Children and ‘Horsing Around’ Honored by Dyer Difference Award ” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

There is something very special about being close to a horse that helps to bring out the best in individuals who face developmental and emotional obstacles. Equine therapy has been shown to improve social and emotional awareness, develop independence improve impulse control and distress tolerance, and assist in coping with learning challenges like autism, Asperger’s, Down’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADD/ADHD), depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and even dementia. Since 1992, Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast, Inc., has provided opportunities for therapeutic horseback riding and horsemanship instruction to individuals in both Indian River and St, Lucie Counties struggling with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. The group also works with Dodgertown Elementary School to help teach all children the importance of animal husbandry. Volunteers with the Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast also share the therapeutic equine experience with women cancer survivors and helps train equestrian athletes for the county, regional, and state Special Olympics competitions. This month, the St. Lucie County Dyer Difference Award Committee has chosen to recognize and celebrate the dedication of Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast volunteers (and the horses) who share so much of themselves with the community.

Another organization dedicated to helping children in the community and providing prevention, education, and treatment options for individuals throughout the Treasure Coast is Tykes and Teens. Since 1996, the mental health organization created on the Treasure Coast has focused on children below the ages of 18, believing that mental health matters each and every day and working to build a healthy and resilient community through mental health services and opportunities to develop skills needed to live healthy and independent lives. The program, which serves more than 60,000 children throughout the Treasure Coast, expanded to include Indian River County in 2016 with a very special Infant Mental Health program, school-based mental health services, and alternatives to Out-of-School Suspension Programs. The Dyer Difference Award Committee recognizes and honors Tykes and Teens’ commitment to the children of our community by selecting the organization to receive the April Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County.

The Dyer Difference Award is all about celebrating the beauty and kindness in our midst. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations made monthly between the St. Lucie and Indian River Counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit www.dyerdifference.org or find Dyer Difference on Facebook.

Photo Courtesy of Ilena Luts: Jonathan Hardie, Tatiana Dyer, Eric Garza, Dr. Theresa Kelso, Courtney Nientimp

Media Contact: Wendy Dwyer, 772-359-6833, wld1@bellsouth.net

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”April 12, 2021 – John’s Island Community Service League Awards $30,000 Grant to Tykes & Teens in Continued Support of Indian River ALTOSS Program” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (April 12, 2021) – John’s Island Community Service League (JICSL) has awarded a $30,000 grant to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding will support the Alternative to Out of School Suspension (ALTOSS) program in Indian River County that is housed at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center.

“The John’s Island Community Service League is a close and valued partner to Tykes & Teens, and we are honored and deeply appreciative to receive their continued support again this year,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Their generous funding is increasing student success through our program that decreases the likelihood of future suspensions and other school struggles.”

“Teens on school suspension need help keeping up with their studies,” said John’s Island Community Service League Co-Chair Lynne Whipple.  “Tykes & Teens’ ALTOSS program serves this need.  Additionally, their mental health professionals work with the students to improve self-image and confidence.  Their outcomes are impressive! 70 percent of their students are not re-suspended.  JICSL is pleased to support this effort.”

Since 1999, Tykes & Teens has helped families and adolescent students experiencing difficulties in school to gain the stability and strength to interact positively in their daily environment.  Their ALTOSS program helps students keep up with their school work while suspended and develop the skills to cope with their individual challenges.  It is a free program open to Indian River County and Martin County middle and high school students who have been suspended from school.  ALTOSS provides a safe, structured and educational experience for children during their suspension.  The goal is to give parents peace of mind while providing an opportunity for children to growth.  ALTOSS has been proven to be effective in decreasing repeat suspensions by using targeted activities to increase the student’s awareness of the importance of positive character, relationships, respect and cooperation.  Seventy percent of students who attend this program do not get resuspended.  For more information, visit ALTOSS.

In addition to the ALTOSS program, Tykes & Teens’ Indian River programming includes, Infant Mental Health, Healthy Families Indian River County, School-Based Services and Prevention Services, including Trauma-Informed Care, as well as Psychiatric Services and Targeted Case Management.

Tykes & Teens Vero ALTOSS Program Specialist Kariana Casanova, John’s Island Community Service League Co-Chairs Lynne Whipple and Sarah Jane Moore, Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza

               

ALTOSS Indian River County computer lab and classroom housed at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center

About John’s Island Community Service League

The John’s Island Community Services League’s vision is transforming lives in Indian River County through leadership, collaboration and dedicated philanthropy.  Johnny Van Name formed the League in February 1980. She wanted to bring attention to other John’s Island residents the needs of the community in which they lived, either full or part time. Her goal was to raise funds to aid women and children who were victims of abuse by starting a thrift shop, now known as the Tambourine Shop. Since that time, the League has flourished and grown to 1,050 members, becoming an important part of the lives of many residents of John’s Island, as well as the lives of countless Indian River County women, children and families.  Twelve years ago, men were invited to become members of the JICSL as the “150 Good Men.”  Each year the number of men has grown. In 2020, over 290 men joined as members.  This year, grants surpassed $1 million for the third year in a row. Since its inception, JICSL has granted over $14,037,197 for Indian River County charitable agencies and post-secondary scholarships for John’s Island employees and their children. ​

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Mar. 23, 2021 – Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club Awards $10,000 to Tykes & Teens to Support Infant Mental Health Program ” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (March 23, 2021) – Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club has awarded $10,000 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for nearly 25 years.  The funding will support the agency’s Infant Mental Health Programming in Indian River County.

“We are truly grateful to Head, Heart and Hands for their generosity and sharing our commitment to serving children and families throughout the Indian River community who are in need of mental health services,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “The need has never been greater and this funding allows us to further our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through prevention, education and treatment.”

“Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club is very pleased to present a grant to Tykes & Teens to further their work in the area of infant and toddler mental health,” said Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Marybeth Cunningham.  “Mental health is a growing concern in our county and, while we need to support it for all age groups, it is vitally important to start at birth to support our children at their most vulnerable age while helping parents raise a healthy happy child.”

The first few years of a child’s life are a blueprint for their entire future. When very young children are exposed to traumatic events, it increases their risk of long-term mental and physical health problems.  Addressing traumatic issues early means healthier children who will require less intervention later in life and can reach their full potential. The Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health Program is an evidence-based program for children from birth to age five that is typically done in the child’s home or in select childcare centers.  The primary goal is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her parent or caregiver in order to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and to improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral and social functioning.  It helps improve a child’s behavior and ability to regulate emotions; strengthens the relationship between the child and the parent or caregiver; helps healing from a traumatic experience for the parent or child that is interfering with a healthy attachment; and helps avoid suspension or expulsion from childcare or preschool.

In addition to Infant Mental Health, Tykes & Teens’ Indian River programming includes Healthy Families Indian River County, School-Based Services and Prevention Services, including Trauma-Informed Care and ALTOSS (Alternative to Out of School Suspension), as well as Psychiatric Services and Targeted Case Management.

Tykes & Teens Director of Infant Mental Health Laura Girlando; Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Marybeth Cunningham; Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Sally Bryan; Head, Heart and Hands Board Member Becky Stiles; Tykes & Teens Board Member Theresa Kelso; Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza; Head, Heart and Hands Donor Linda Braun

About Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club

The Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club (HHH) was established in 2013.  The goal of our HEAD Program is to develop a deeper understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities that exist within the larger Indian River County community.  Supporting the community through philanthropy is the purpose of the HEART program.  The HANDS Program provides Indian River Club members and residents an opportunity to help the larger Indian River County community through volunteer activities.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Feb. 9, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Appoints Wendy Radeka as Chief People Officer” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (February 9, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for nearly 25 years, has appointed Wendy Radeka, ACC, MHR, PHR, SHRM-CP, as Chief People Officer.  In the new role, Wendy is responsible for developing and leading the agency’s recruiting and talent acquisition, orientation and onboarding, and professional development as the agency continues to grow.

“Our team of highly experienced team members are our most important asset in serving children and families throughout the Treasure Coast,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Wendy’s wealth of experience in leadership, organizational development and human resources will be instrumental in carrying out our commitment to providing the same level of high-quality growth and development for our team as we do for our clients.”

“I believe in providing the best caring environment for our team members and that every person has unique capabilities to reach success and their full potential,” said Tykes & Teens Chief People Officer Wendy Radeka. “I look forward to supporting the work life of the superheroes that we call team members, so they can provide great care to the community. We take care of them, so they can take care of others.”

Before joining Tykes & Teens, Wendy Radeka worked for Martin Health and also a $6.8 billion healthcare system in Florida as Corporate Director of Talent and Learning, with strategic oversight for teams in Human Resources.  Her role had responsibility for leader, executive and physician coaching, talent acquisition, orientation and onboarding, leadership development, learning, performance and succession management, career development, engagement, and the systems that support those efforts.  Prior to healthcare, Wendy was a human resources leader in engineering and technology industries in Florida-based firms and global enterprises.  Wendy is an experienced and certified executive coach and has provided thought leadership and guidance to leaders and high potentials.  She has directed a variety of strategic initiatives with a strength in bringing concepts to scale.  Wendy received her Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and her Masters of Human Resources with Honors from Rollins College.  Wendy’s certifications include ICF Certified Coach, Hogan Assessments, Myers Briggs, Right Path Resources, SHRM-CP, and a Professional in Human Resources.  As a Mom who raised three daughters in Martin County schools, Wendy loves Tykes & Teens’ mission and that we are focused on children and families.

Tykes & Teens Chief People Officer Wendy Radeka, ACC, MHR, PHR, SHRM-CP

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Feb. 4, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Appoints Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, Psy.D, CAP, as Chief Clinical Officer ” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (February 4, 2021) – Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for nearly 25 years, has appointed Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, Psy.D, CAP, as Chief Clinical Officer.  In the newly created position, Dr. Marshall is responsible for the overall direction, leadership and oversight of Tykes & Teens’ clinical, quality and safety programs.  She will oversee the development, accountability and measurement of the agency’s evidenced-based programs and services with a focus on providing quality safe clinical care for the children and communities the agency serves, which is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are laser focused on providing continuous improvements in the clinical quality and client safety of our evidence-based programming and services for children and adolescents,” said Tykes & Teens CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.  “Dr. Marshall’s long-time clinical expertise and proficiency in developing quality programming for children and families throughout the Treasure Coast will be integral to building the strong structure and continued growth of our high-quality evidence-based programs and services, and meeting the clinical needs of the communities we serve.”

“I am honored to be taking on this important role,” said Tykes & Teens newly appointed Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, Psy.D, CAPD.  “As we continue furthering our agency’s growth, it is of utmost importance to me and our team to excel beyond providing the highest caliber of care the mental health field has to offer.  Having been through so much throughout the past year’s pandemic, it’s what our children, families and communities not only need, but deserve now more than ever.”

Dr. Marshall has dedicated her 14-year career to the non-profit mental health field – strongly believing in a responsibility to support her community.  She joined Tykes & Teens in 2006 and most recently served as the agency’s Director of Prevention Services where she has implemented numerous evidence-based programs spanning the four-county Treasure Coast region.  She developed and leads a series of programs geared toward mental health issues and the prevention of substance abuse for children, conducts community psycho-educational seminars and workshops for mental health professionals, champions social awareness campaigns, oversees a classroom-based prevention curriculum, and coordinates free and fun activities for tweens and teens in the community.  In addition, she has been a guest lecturer for various psychology-related graduate and undergraduate courses, has consulted on various community task forces, and has maintained a private practice since 2011 with a special focus on women’s issues and wellness.  Dr. Marshall is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Addictions Professional who earned her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Tykes & Teens Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, Psy.D, CAP

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Jan. 29, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Has Appointed Eric Garza as CEO” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

PALM CITY, Fla. (January 29, 2021) – The Board of Directors of Tykes & Teens has appointed Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW, previously the agency’s Chief Operating Officer, as Chief Executive Officer effective January 29, 2021.  Eric is replacing outgoing CEO Rodney Battles, MBA.

“We are thrilled to welcome long-time Tykes & Teens leader Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW, as our new CEO,” said Tykes & Teens President and Chairman of the Board F. Shields McManus.  “Eric’s training in social work and experience as a therapist, as well as his education and experience in healthcare management is ideally suited to carry out our mission of prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities we serve through prevention, education and treatment.  We thank Rodney for his professional work and his efforts while at the agency and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

“I am honored, excited and fully committed to carrying on Tykes & Teens’ mission in serving the emotional well-being of children and families with quality healthcare, ensuring the agency’s healthy growth and continued collaboration with our community partners, and just as importantly, providing a culture of caring for all of our team members,” said Tykes & Teens newly appointed CEO Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW.

Eric earned his Master of Health Administration from Florida Atlantic University, his Master of Social Work degree in 2009 from Florida Atlantic University and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2011. He attained the credential of Certified Addictions Professional in 2012, became a Qualified Supervisor for Registered Social Work Interns in 2013, and met Florida requirements to be titled as a Clinical Sexologist in 2014. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Keiser University, and is a member of the Advisory Board for Psychology at Keiser University’s St. Lucie Campus.  Eric began his career at Tykes & Teens in 2008 as an intern and then served as an Outpatient Therapist for five years. He became the Director of Outpatient Services in 2014 and then Chief Operating Officer in 2017. He specializes in the field of trauma and sexual development throughout the course of childhood and adolescence. Since 2008, he has provided individual, group and family services to more than 700 children and their families.  Eric’s passion for helping children comes from his own experience of benefiting from having an advocate as a teenager in high school. He believes that every child has the right to have access to quality mental health services to help process whatever is impacting them.

Tykes & Teens’ Chief Executive Officer Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Jan. 27, 2021 – Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County Awards $250,000 to Tykes & Teens” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

Pilot Project Aimed to Embed Mental Health Services On-Site at Afterschool Care Providers

PALM CITY, Fla. (January 27, 2021) – The Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County has awarded $250,000 to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for nearly 25 years.  The award includes funding in the amount of $100,000 for fiscal year 2020 – 2021 with a commitment for continued funding for at least one additional year.

Under the Council’s ‘Keeping Kids Off the Streets’ priority area, Tykes & Teens will develop a mental health program that will be embedded on-site in the Council’s afterschool care providers in St. Lucie County.  The trauma-informed care program approach includes Tykes & Teens providing daily counseling services at various afterschool providers for youth who are struggling and seeking a supportive service.  In addition, Tykes & Teens will provide support for the afterschool care providers’ staff.

This approach will help eliminate identified obstacles such as transportation and financial means as the service will be provided at no cost.  In addition, the program aims to overcome the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment and build trust with children and youth, while proactively addressing trauma and other issues already identified by afterschool care providers.

Tykes & Teens is highly experienced in providing evidence-based prevention and counseling services in schools and on-site with community partners.  They currently provide services in 26 schools in Martin and Okeechobee counties.  They also provide their TRUST (Teaching Resilience and Understanding Symptoms of Trauma) program training and support for afterschool program staff in St. Lucie County to help them recognize and respond to trauma symptoms in children.

“Tykes & Teens is thrilled to further our collaboration and shared vision of the importance of mental health prevention services with the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County,” said Tykes & Teens’ CEO Rodney Battles.  “Our evidence-based early intervention programs and counseling help kids make better life choices.  Building relationships with children and working hand-in-hand with the staff at the afterschool providers is key to the success of this program.  Our goal is to encourage children and provide them a comfort zone to feel open to talking about the challenges they are facing and give them the tools necessary to best confront their challenges.  Reaching children and adolescents early in life and providing prevention services is critical to building healthy resilient youth and leads to long-term generational change in the community.”

“We are excited about this partnership to provide needed mental health services to children participating in our funded afterschool programs,” said Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County Executive Director Sean Boyle. “This program is a direct result of the Children’s Services Council listening to the youth in our funded afterschool programs. Hearing their concerns, the Board acted on the need for mental health services. In a time when many families are dealing with the impact of the pandemic as well as trauma, we believe this partnership with Tykes & Teens will have a tremendous impact on children in St. Lucie County.”

About Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County

The Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County improves the lives of more than 50,000 children and families in our community by funding and partnering with quality agencies to ensure that every baby is a healthy baby, to stop child abuse before it happens, to keep kids off the streets, to keep them in school, and to keep them away from drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.

[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Jan. 22, 2021 – Tykes & Teens Hosting Free Virtual Seminar for Middle School Parents” open=”no” class=”” id=””]

“Don’t Push My Buttons; I’m Not an Elevator” Taking Place Mon., Jan. 25 at 5:30 pm

PALM CITY, Fla. (January 22, 2021) – Middle school years are a challenging time for tweens and even more so during this year’s COVID-19 environment. As part of its “Mapping the Middle” program, Tykes & Teens is hosting the next in its series of free virtual seminars to help parents of middle school age students navigate through a variety of timely issues today’s tweens are facing.

Longtime therapist and Tykes & Teens’ Director of School-Based Services Andrea Greenlee, LCSW will dive into the psychology behind parenting a teen or tween and teach you what to do and not to do in an effort to maintain household peace and wellness.

The seminar is free to parents via Zoom, but registration is required by emailing agnieszka@tykesandteens.org. Once registered, you will receive instructions and links to join this virtual seminar.

“Mapping the Middle” seminars are an annual event for parents by Tykes & Teens, sponsored by Children’s Services Council of Martin County and C.O.R.E.

Andrea Greenlee earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Social Work from Florida State University. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social worker since 2000.  She began her career with Tykes & Teens over 20 years ago as one of the first therapists hired by the agency. Today, as the agency’s Director of School-Based Services, she oversees the care Tykes & Teens provides for clients in more than 30 elementary, middle and high schools located in Martin, Okeechobee and Indian River counties.  Andrea lives in Martin County and is the mom to two teenagers.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.

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Virtual Meetings on Second Tuesday of Each Month at 4:30 pm

PALM CITY, Fla. (January 5, 2021) – Teachers across the Treasure Coast are taking advantage of and benefitting from free support provided by Tykes & Teens, a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  TEAMS – Teacher Empowerment And Meaningful Support – is a confidential virtual teacher support group provided the second Tuesday of each month by Tykes & Teens with the support of Children’s Services Council of Martin and St. Lucie Counties.  The next TEAMS meeting is Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 4:30 pm.

As children and families are continuing to struggle with increased anxiety and added pressures caused by COVID-19, teachers are on the frontlines adjusting to providing both virtual and in-person education and care for children, while also balancing their own challenges during the current pandemic world.

“We know our teachers are working harder than ever and facing even greater pressures during a pandemic, and we want you to know we are here for you,” says Dorothy Oppenhesier, Tykes & Teens Trauma-Informed Care Coordinator who leads TEAMS.  “TEAMS is an excellent opportunity for teachers to have a safe place to share their personal experiences and feelings and receive coping strategies in a confidential space of mutual understanding and support.”

“As a long-time educator and Tykes & Teens’ Trauma-Informed Care Coordinator, Dorothy personally relates to what teachers are going through and provides excellent support and guidance through our TEAMS support group,” says Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, Psy.D., CAP.

Teachers participating in the group are encouraging others to take advantage of the TEAMS support group, saying:  “TEAMS has been so helpful;” and “I wish more teachers would take advantage of this group.”

Tykes & Teens’ TEAMS virtual group is open to all teachers and meets the second Tuesday of each month at 4:30 pm.  To register, email Dr. Agnieszka Marshall at agnieszka@tykesandteens.org.  For more information on Tykes & Teens’ Trauma-Informed Care, visit www.tykesandteens.org/trauma-informed-care/.

Dorothy Oppenhesier is Tykes & Teens’ Trauma-Informed Care Coordinator, as well as a long-time school educator and administrator.  She provides training in trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, mindfulness and compassion fatigue. She is an experienced educational consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the education and healthcare management industry, and is skilled in career education, special education, child advocacy, staff development and student counseling.  She is a former middle and high school teacher and was also a high school assistant principal and principal.  In addition, she has worked with 50 school districts to evaluate and implement comprehensive health education curriculum that included social emotional health.  She received her Bachelor of Science, Health Education and Sociology certification in teaching from Western Michigan University and her Graduate in Public Administration with an emphasis in health care from the University of Michigan-Flint.  She holds a School Principal Certification and is a certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer and Michigan Model for Health Trainer.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for nearly 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.

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PALM CITY, Fla. (December 22, 2020) Tykes & Teens’ Festival of Trees & Lights has started the holiday season off on a joyful note for 13 years and 2020 was no exception. It just took a revised game plan, some reconfigured events and a few masks to pull off the beloved event.

During the week of November 16-21, confident-in-spite-of-COVID attendees participated in events at the Flagler Center that raised $175,000 to help fund vital mental health programs across the Treasure Coast for children and their families – needed now more than ever.

Donations were generated by both online and in person events this year. More than one-third of the money raised was brought in through a series of well-attended virtual events such as a Cooking Class with Rick and Taylor Wilson of the Gafford, Story Time with Mrs. Claus and a live sale from Kling Gallery

Because of the time and effort that Tykes & Teens put into safety precautions, residents were confident about attending, stating that mandatory mask wearing and “one-way streets” put their minds at ease and allowed them to relax at this Treasure Coast tradition.

Beautifully decorated wreaths and trees produced the usual oohs, aahs and enthusiastic bidding. Fan Favorite Tree was courtesy of Morgan Stanley and the Large Tree “Best in Show” winner was House of Hope.

Rodney Battles, CEO of Tykes & Teens said, “As the new CEO of Tykes & Teens, I was impressed with the community support, volunteer effort and overall drive to make a difference in the lives of children that was demonstrated throughout the Festival of Trees & Lights. Walking in as someone brand-new and seeing this level of commitment and passion was both exciting and encouraging.”

Long-time Festival of Trees & Lights committee member, tree sponsor and attendee Susan Whittington of Morgan Stanley shared, “The miracle of being able to hold a safe event in 2020 was enough to celebrate – but making more than $175,000 exceeds what we could have dreamed!

“This has always been my favorite event and now it is a favorite of my colleagues at Morgan Stanley as well. We were so pleased to do a tree even though we are all working remotely. We’re so happy for Tykes & Teens – an organization that has never been needed more than in 2020.”

For more about Tykes & Teens and the services it provides, visit www.tykesandteens.org.

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“Finding Happiness During COVID-19” Taking Place Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m.

PALM CITY, Fla. (October 7, 2020) – Middle school years are a challenging time for tweens and even more so during this year’s COVID-19 environment. As part of its “Mapping the Middle” program, Tykes & Teens is hosting the next in its series of free virtual seminars to help parents of middle school age students navigate through a variety of timely issues today’s tweens are facing.

As the first of the four-part monthly series, Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, PsyD, CAP, and Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services, will be presenting a free virtual seminar “Finding Happiness During COVID-19” on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Based on Yale University’s sought-after class, “The Science of Well Being,” and the latest research from Positive Psychology, Dr. Marshall will share with parents of tweens the fascinating new information science has taught us about human happiness in the 2000s.

The seminar is free to parents via Zoom, but registration is required by emailing Dr. Marshall at agnieszka@tykesandteens.org. Once registered, you will receive instructions and links to join this virtual seminar.

Dr. Agnieszka Marshall is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Addictions Professional who earned her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology. She has dedicated her career to providing psychotherapy services for children and families with a focus on teen issues and substance abuse. Dr. Marshall is the Director of Prevention Services at Tykes where she has been providing treatment to teens for more than 14 years, and currently oversees and develops a series of activities geared toward prevention of mental health and substance abuse issues for children. Her projects span a four-county region and include community psycho-educational seminars, workshops for mental health professionals, social awareness campaigns and overseeing a classroom-based prevention curriculum. She also coordinates free and fun activities for tweens and teens in the community. She has been a guest lecturer for various psychology-related graduate and undergraduate courses, has consulted on various community task forces, and has maintained a private practice since 2011 with special focus on women’s issues and wellness. She is driven by a motivation to help contribute to the creation of an overall healthier community.

“Mapping the Middle” parent survival seminars are part of a monthly virtual series by Tykes & Teens, sponsored by Children’s Services Council of Martin County and C.O.R.E.

Additional Upcoming Virtual “Mapping the Middle” Parent Survival Seminars:

  • 18, 2020 at 5:30 pm – “A Spoonful of Mindfulness” presented by Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, PsyD, CAP, and Tykes & Teens Director Preventions Services

Dr. Marshall has been teaching the community about mindfulness for nearly a decade and now it’s your turn to learn about what makes mindfulness one of the biggest breakthroughs of our time, and what it can do for you and your parenting.

  • 2, 2020 at 5:30 pm – “The Birds and the Bees are Sexting” presented by Eric Garza, LCSW, CAP, CST, and Tykes & Teens Chief Operating Officer

Learn what you need to know about teens, tweens, sex and dating during an era of technology. Sex therapist Eric Garza will teach you about these new dynamics and how to navigate them with your child.

  • 25, 2021 at 5:30 pm – “Don’t Push My Buttons; I’m Not an Elevator” presented by Andrea Greenlee, LCSW, and Tykes & Teens Director of School Based Services

Dive into the psychology behind parenting a teen or tween with longtime therapist Andrea Greenlee. She will teach you what to do and what not to do to maintain household peace and wellness. 

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens was founded in 1996 in Martin County with the goal of strengthening local families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status. The agency prioritizes children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services. The agency also advocates for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment. Since its inception, Tykes & Teens has served more than 50,000 local children across more than 50 service locations along the Treasure Coast, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound, as well as onsite services in all Martin County schools, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, as well as infant mental health services in over 200 homes throughout the Treasure Coast. In addition, its prevention services division has provided hundreds of free community events and administers a youth alcohol prevention curriculum in Martin County middle schools.

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IN THE NEWS

5/18/22 – Murder-suicide leaves victims’ family members sad, confused and grasping for answers – TCPalm

4/29/22 – Tykes & Teens Goes Green for Mental Health – Stuart Magazine

4/21/22 – Tykes & Teens spreads awareness at Brunch for Babies – Vero News

2/11/22 – Save the Date: Hope Fest–Live Outdoor Concert for Good, March 12th – Macaroni Kid

1/12/22 – Two St. Lucie County deputy deaths by suicide shed light on mental health in law enforcement – TCPalm

1/8/22 – Children’s mental health: high priority that must be vigorously addressed – TCPalm

12/22/21 – Sue-Ellen Sanders Chats with Impact 100 St. Lucie and Tykes & Teens – WPTV-TV Sue-Ellen Sanders Show

12/14/21 – Tykes and Teens’ Andrea Greenlee discusses ways holiday stress impacts children and families, and what can be done to mitigate what is causing stress around the holidays – Community Connections by Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County

11/16/21 – Festival of Trees kicks off holiday season in Stuart – TCPalm

11/16/21 – Festival of Trees – Stuart News

11/8/21 – Tykes & Teens to host ‘Festival of Trees & Lights Nov. 14-20 at Flagler Center – Luminairies/TCPalm

11/3/21 – Scholarships from the “Paulie Strong” fundraiser and a discussion about mental health with Tykes & Teens – WQCS 88.9 FM In Focus

10/25/21 – Donation made to Tykes and Teens for ‘play therapy sand trays’ – Knowhere News Treasure Coast

101/1/21 – 14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Benefiting Tykes & Teens – Stuart Exposure

101/1/21 – 14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Benefiting Tykes & Teens – Martin Downs Bulletin

101/1/21 – 14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Benefiting Tykes & Teens – Palm City Spotlight

101/1/21 – 14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights Benefiting Tykes & Teens – Hobe Sound Reflections

9/27/21 – Interview on Tykes & Teens services in Indian River County and throughout the Treasure Coast – PlanetVeroTV.com Outspoken Outreach with Dr. Amanda Hackford

9/8/21 – Eric Garza, CEO of Tykes & Teens, to discuss how the two non-profits work together to the benefit of the youths served by both agencies in St. Lucie County – WXL-TV ClubCast by Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County

8/23/21 – 14th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights benefitting Tykes & Teens – Hometown News

8/7/21 – Story Time K-5 : Feeling Sad, Mad or Worried? Gizmo’s Here to Help! at Blake Library – Macaroni Kid

8/5/21 – Martin County Out and About – Gizmo’s Guide to Mental Health – Hometown News

8/3/21 – Celebrate August Family Fun Month with Tykes & Teens – Macaroni Kid

8/2/21 – How to help your children mentally prepare for returning to school – NBC WPTV Ch. 5

7/29/21 – Grand Harbor Community Outreach Awards $20,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant Mental Health – Vero News

7/29/21 – Tykes & Teens announces 2021-2022 Board of Directors – South Central Florida Life

7/20/21 – Treasure Coast mental health organization helps students readjust to classroom life; Tykes & Teens focuses on anxiety, depression, reestablishing routines – NBC WPTV Ch. 5

7/14/21 – Tykes & Teens offers weekly online video series – Your News St. Lucie County

7/8/21 – Early Learning Coalition Awards $26K Grant to Tykes & Teens – St. Lucie Voice

7/6/21 – Indian River County approves $2,322,074 budget for children’s services – Knowhere News Treasure Coast

7/1/21 – Tykes & Teens Preparing Parents and Students for Return to School with Free Summer Series – Macaroni Kid

7/1/21 – EVENTS: Tykes & Teens FREE Return To School Summer Series: “Mental Health Matters – Returning with Resilience” – Macaroni Kid

6/30/21 – Tykes and Teens Receives $26,000 Grant for Childhood Mental Health Services – Knowhere News Treasure Coast

6/25/21 – New center delivering services for neglected, abused children, could open in October – TCPalm

6/24/21 – Early Learning Coalition of SLC Awards $26,000 to Tykes & Teens – Macaroni Kid Stuart

6/9/21 – Special Equestrians and Tykes & Teens honored with Dyer Difference awards – Knowhere News Treasure Coast

5/27/21 – Cooking for Kids’ Sake was recipe for fundraising success – Vero Beach 32963

5/23/21 – Letter to the Editor: Engage children through the summer to build resiliency following COVID-19 – TCPalm

5/21/21 – Honoring Mental Health Awareness – Stuart News

5/6/21 – Tykes & Teens Awarded Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation from The Joint Commission – South Florida Hospital News

5/5/21 – ‘Paint the Town Green’ for May Mental Health Awareness Month – Macaroni Kid Stuart and Macaroni Kid St. Lucie

5/4/21 – Tykes & Teens Invites Treasure Coast Communities to ” Paint the Town Green “for May Mental Health Awareness Month – South Florida Hospital News

4/12/21 – John’s Island Community Service League Awards $30,000 Grant to Tykes & Teens ALTOSS Program – Vero News

3/24/21 – Head, Heart, and Hands of Indian River Club awards $10,000 to Tykes and Teens – Knowhere News Treasure Coast

2/1/21 – Treasure Coast group helps teachers deal with mental stress of COVID-19 pandemic; Tykes & Teens gives educators opportunity to connect, speak openly about feelings – NBC WPTV Ch. 5

1/28/21 – Children’s Services Council of SLC Awards $250,000 to Tykes & Teens – Macaroni Kid

1/21/21 – Festival of Trees and Lights a Hit – Martin Downs Bulletin

1/5/21 – Treasure Coast teachers benefiting from free support from Tykes & Teens – South Central Florida Life

12/22/20 – Festival of Trees & Lights a Holiday Hit – Knowhere News Treasure Coast

12/22/20 – Festival of Trees & Lights a Holiday Hit – All Things Treasure Coast

12/10/20 – Dr. DuPont from Tykes & Teens discussing holiday stress and Covid-19. Hosted by Teresa Bishop, Executive Director of the Roundtable of St. Lucie County. – St. Lucie RISE

11/22/20 – Dr. Alethia DuPont from Tykes & Teens talks about holiday stress and ways to help your children and your family cope. Tune in for great tips from Dr. DuPont and some bonus talk about her pet prarie dog. – Community Connections Children’s Services Council St. Lucie County

11/19/20 – More Santa, holiday celebrations, and comedy round out this weekend’s events – WPTV NBC 5 West Palm Beach

11/16/20 – 13th Annual Festival of Trees and Lights brings joy to downtown Stuart – TCPalm.com

10/28/20 – Witnessing a loved one’s brutal murder leaves family members traumatized, especially children – TCPalm.com

10/16/20 – Martin County earmarks $500,000 in CARES Act funds for mental health – WFLX FOX 29

5/25/20 – ‘Project Graduation’ celebration in Martin County altered by COVID-19 – CBS 12 News

3/18/20 – Coronavirus in Florida: Here’s how to help Treasure Coast residents in need – TCPalm.com

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