In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Healthcare Georgia Foundation will be shining a spotlight on organizations across Georgia that are working to raise awareness of mental health issues, provide services, and advocate for fair and equitable access to mental health care.
The Foundation’s first organization to be highlighted this month is CHRIS 180, and below you’ll find the contents of our recent interview with the group.
When was CHRIS 180 founded?
CHRIS 180 was founded on June 8, 1981. This year (2021) marks CHRIS 180’s 40th Anniversary.
What is the mission of your organization? What are some of your goals?
CHRIS 180’s mission is: to heal children, strengthen families and build community. Our vision is that high-quality, trauma-informed behavioral health services and support systems are available to all children, adults and families. We have three major goals in our current strategic plan: (1) To be the employer of choice for providing behavioral health and allied services; (2) To be the provider of choice for behavioral health and allied services; and (3) To continue to be financially viable and sustainable.
What services does your organization provide?
CHRIS 180 helps children, young adults and families who have experienced trauma change the direction of their lives to become more productive, self-sufficient members of the community. We do this through mental health counseling, training, providing safe housing, and real-world skill-building. CHRIS 180’s goal is to help those we serve to build resilience to overcome life’s challenges. Our services include: counseling for all ages and inside local schools, safe homes for children in foster care and youth and families experiencing homelessness, wraparound support for struggling families to prevent separations, avoid hospitalizations, incarcerations or foster care. Additionally, CHRIS 180 provides trauma-informed counseling and support services to address community trauma by training and empowering people in the community to respond to incidents of violence. We also work with community partners to create pathways to success by diverting youth from criminal activity through engaging programming in their neighborhoods. CHRIS 180 also works to spread our tools for healing and understanding trauma through our CHRIS Training Institute, for clinical professionals, teachers, law enforcement, human services workforce and the general public. Our focus is on training in Trauma- Informed Care, trauma assessments, clinical best practices, working with LGBTQ+ youth, diversity and inclusion, and the prevention of child abuse.
Which area(s) of Georgia do you service?
What is your fee structure for services provided?
Many of our community-based services are free for participants. For our counseling services, we operate on a sliding fee scale and we take a wide range of insurance providers. If clients don’t have insurance, the CHRIS 180 Care Team can work with them to provide services. They can be reached at 770-722-0080.
What is the one thing you wish more people understood about mental health and mental health services? What is your hope for the future in terms of mental health access and care?
We want people to realize that spreading mental health awareness isn’t just the responsibility of organizations like CHRIS 180. We need all organizations, healthcare providers, and community groups to recognize that mental health matters, now more than ever before. As we slowly ease out of this global pandemic, the lasting effects of our collective trauma will impact us for years to come, especially the children in our lives. It is the responsibility of the full community to come together to care for their mental health by learning from each of us. We hope that collectively, we can end the stigma around mental health that has plagued our nation so that we can work from our trauma, heal and support others going through tough times.
How can individuals reach out to your organization to learn more about your work?