Author: Thomas P. Royer, Beech Brook President/CEO

May is National Mental Health Month. Beech Brook works diligently to address the challenges faced by tens of thousands of residents of Northeast Ohio living with mental health conditions. Throughout the month, and, in fact all year long, Beech Brook actively works to eradicate stigma, extend support, provide public education and advocate for policies that prioritize the well-being of individuals and families.

Beech Brook provides an expansive array of services. So many, in fact, that it can be a bit difficult to succinctly describe what we do; however, one constant over the last decade is that Beech Brook is “moving upstream.” As with most issues, addressing one’s mental health is most effective when issues are prevented or dealt with early.

Imagine you’re standing on the edge of a river. Suddenly a flailing, drowning child comes floating by. Without thinking, you dive in, grab the child, and swim to shore. Before you can recover another child comes floating by. You dive in and rescue her as well.

Then another child drifts into sight. . . and another. . . and another. You call for help, and people take turns fishing out child after child. Hopefully before too long some wise person will head upstream to find out why so many children are falling in the river in the first place.

At Beech Brook’s Family Center, we take an upstream approach. Addressing issues of parenting, anger, bullying, fatherhood, physical health, poverty and early childhood are not traditional mental health services, but they certainly have an impact on mental health.

Again, imagine a world where every mother and every father and every young child has supportive people around them to provide education on effective parenting, to help develop the skills to engage in healthy relationships, to make available supportive services that lessen the burden and trauma of living in poverty, or to help you develop the skills you need to regain custody of your children who have tragically been removed from your home.

And imagine those parents who received support are now raising their children in supportive environments and actually become supports to their extended families and communities resulting in the next generation having fewer issues to deal with from the beginning.

This is what Beech Brook is building at the Family Center. We work every day to identify those who are experiencing unhealthy social determinants of health, work to keep families together safely, and as our mission states, work to “help children and families thrive.” Today, Beech Brook is focused not only on treating, but on preventing the devastating toll abuse, trauma, daily exposure to violence, the toxic stress of living in poverty – and its lifelong impact on our children, our families…and the future of our community.

Back to News

Sign Up

Never miss out on the latest from Beech Brook.

Not now, maybe later.

Share This Page

Photo Gallery

1 of 22