BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – Getting our teenagers to talk about their feelings is difficult, especially if they’re struggling.
But checking in on our children’s mental health is vital, and if they won’t talk to us, then where can they go where they might feel comfortable sharing?
Many students wrapped up this school year on a somber note, heading into summer break dealing with so many emotions.
Now, there’s a special place combining all the joys of summer camp with therapy.
This school year ended on the heels of another shooting tragedy, leaving students and parents with heavy hearts and lots of questions.
Child Therapists in Metro Detroit are helping students outside the classroom at summer camp.
Local 4 talked to Child Therapist Brooke Bendix about Camp Therapyology.
“Camp is a safe space, and it’s a place to have fun, it’s a place to connect with others, and also to connect with yourself,” said Bendix. “So we call it Camp because that’s the feeling that we want you to get. And it’s also, you know, a place where you can feel safe and discuss mental health topics.”
Read: Camp Therapyology — Social distanced camp in Birmingham helps children, teens with mental health
Camp Therapyology, It’s as if therapy snuck into a fun camp-like setting.
“So it’s so much more than what a typical summer camp really is, Bendix said. “It’s addressing the needs that kids and teens have right now in our world, that that they need to be addressed.”
Therapists like Bendix say her youngest patients are experiencing high rates of anxiety, depression, and loneliness, and the support they provide with regular therapy just isn’t enough.
“I’ve never seen more kids and teens reach out and want to have a therapist want to go to a group or to a camp and really talk about their mental health and be huge advocates for mental health,” Bendix says. “Which is amazing.”
They cover various issues and topics like how to deal with mean girls, LGBTQ, building healthy coping skills, navigating friendships, family issues, or just about anything tweens or teens may be going through right now.
“I think one of my favorite group topics that I talk a lot about is taboo topics,” Bendix said. “And it’s anything from suicidality to eating disorders, to self-harm, to even what’s happening right now in the world, and the shootings that are going on. And they don’t talk about it enough in schools, and I understand the why. But they need a place, a safe space to talk about it.”
The camps run at various times this summer and are open to different ages for both boys and girls. Click here to find more information.
Related: Get the help you need: Where to find mental health services in Southeast Michigan
Read more: Ways people are making mental health a priority and why it’s so important
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with suicidal thoughts you are not alone. Help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 to provide support at 800-273-8255. Click here to find crisis lines near you.
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