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Top After School Programs for Children and Teens with Mental Health Disorders

It’s no secret that children and young adults with mental health disorders often have a hard time in school. They may struggle to keep up with their peers or concentrate in class, have difficulty making friends, and may even act out or start fights due to the struggles they’re experiencing. While there are many different types of mental health disorders, they can all take a toll on a child’s academic performance, no matter their age.

Thankfully, however, there is a variety of after school programs that can provide valuable support for children and young adults with mental health disorders and help them succeed both in the classroom and in daily life while learning valuable mental health management skills. These types of programs can provide a safe, accepting, and often the therapeutic environment in which children and teens can grow, learn, and thrive in spite of the challenges facing them.

One of the most popular after school programs for children and teens with mental health disorders is the Boys and Girls Club of America. The Boys and Girls Club offers a variety of programs and services that help children and young adults with mental health disorders learn valuable skills, take part in athletic activities, and find success in all areas of life. The Club also provides a safe and supportive environment for children and teens to socialize and make friends.

Some other great after school programs for children and young adults with mental health disorders are the YMCA and YWCA. The YMCA & YWCA offer a wide selection of sports programs and community services that help teens and young adults with mental health disorders achieve academic success as well as personal growth. In addition, the YMCA offers a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for teens and young adults to develop friendships and feel less alone as they meet peers with similar backgrounds.

The Boy Scouts of America & Girl Scouts of the USA are another pair of excellent after school programs for children and young adults with mental health disorders. Children over 18 can still participate in Scout Venture programs too, which allows them to go on adventurous hiking trips, participate in leadership programs, and learn valuable real-world and organizational skills that are sure to foster personal development. 

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are good organizations for children and young adults with mental health disorders because they provide a supportive and nurturing environment in addition to teaching life skills such as camping and survival skills that can help them in their everyday lives. These organizations help members develop a strong sense of community and belonging as well, which can be beneficial for those who struggle with mental health disorders. 

Private and Local After School Programs

There are also a number of local and private after school programs that cater to children and teens with mental health disorders. These programs are typically run by mental health professionals and offer a variety of services that help children and teens with mental health disorders succeed in school and in life.

Some great local options in the Los Angeles area include: 

LAUSD Mental Health Resources

Los Angeles Unified School District offers free crisis intervention and counseling services. LAUSD provides individual and family therapy for students of all ages through its School Mental Health Clinics and Wellness Centers. At this time all services are provided remotely by telephone or videoconferencing. L.A. Unified also hosts 17 Wellness Centers on school campuses throughout the District. Prevention, education, early intervention, and screening are the main focal points. These services are delivered by collaborating with onsite partners and school teams for holistic wellness and achievement for students.

Youth Move National

As a youth-led national organization, Youth M.O.V.E. National strives to improve services and systems that support positive growth and development by bringing together the voices of individuals with lived experience in mental health systems, juvenile justice systems, education systems, and child welfare systems.

Autism Society of Los Angeles

The Autism Society of Los Angeles is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to provide support and services to millions of people in the L.A. area living with autism, as well as their loved ones. 

If you are looking for an after school program for your child or teenager with a mental health disorder, there is no shortage of excellent programs available to choose from. Your child can benefit from the programs and services offered by the organizations listed above in order to be successful in the classroom and beyond as they continue their journey through life.

Life Adjustment Team 

It’s crucial to consult a mental health specialist or your child’s doctor if you see any of these symptoms. They can assist you in determining whether your child has a mental illness and in formulating a plan for obtaining the necessary treatment for them. Substance misuse, self-harm, eating disorders, and suicide are just a few of the terrible repercussions of untreated mental health issues. Therefore, as our understanding of mental health continues to expand, it is more crucial than ever that children and young adults have access to mental health therapy when they need it.

Therapy, medication, and support groups are just a few of the methods used to treat mental illness. Finding the correct treatment for you or your child is crucial. You can start by talking to your doctor or a mental health expert if you are unsure of where to begin. If your child is over 18 and you live in or close to Los Angeles, you might want to give LAT a call.