Helping Youth Struggling with Social Isolation

March 24, 2021

Chris was an 8th grader at Mahopac Middle School when the pandemic hit last spring. His attendance was inconsistent and struggles with social isolation started to emerge. His grades were not noteworthy and there were stressors at home. Furthermore, Chris already felt disconnected from staff at school so when instruction switched to all remote, Chris found himself without any support. Now he was at home all the time with no break from strained relationships within the household. He was spending endless hours playing video games. The inconsistencies of school and quarantine life on top of a fragile online support system left Chris feeling stuck and unsure of when things would return to “normal.”

Recreational activities and peer support groups at our Community Outreach Center help local youth break the barriers of social isolation.

Reaching out for help

Chris’ mother reached out to Green Chimneys to inquire about support for her son. They decided to take advantage of the structured group therapy sessions offered virtually. Chris reluctantly showed up online for group. But with each passing week, he began to show signs of enjoyment in participating. When the Community Outreach Center reopened in July, Chris was able to meet his new friends and staff in person. He quickly became a regular, coming at least twice a week not only to get out of the house but also to keep connected to his new support system. Chris knows that he can get help with homework or find a supportive ear from staff, but he prefers to spend his time there socializing with peers. Now a freshman in high school, Chris feels grateful to have the Outreach Center to look forward to each week. And it is helping Chris stay motivated to attend his remote classes.

Positive youth development and mental health resources

Chris is one of hundreds of youth in the greater Putnam County community being helped by free programs and support provided by our Community-Based Services. While the Outreach Center has always been a safe haven for kids struggling with stressors of adolescence and other challenges, the expanse of social isolation felt by youth throughout the community over the past year is significant. The ongoing pandemic has only emphasized how critical positive development and essential mental health resources are for all youth.

Reliable support for local youth

Breaking down the barriers of social isolation is important. Ensuring children have access to healthy in-person and virtual recreational and therapeutic experiences remains a priority. The Community Outreach Center is a safe, recreational outlet for youth whose access to school or peers has been limited or even decimated. Staff ensure safety protocols are followed so that youth can consistently enjoy the camaraderie of a group and face-to-face interaction, and find a bit of that normalcy we all need.

Let us help you or someone you care about.

Are you concerned about a child in your life? Are you in search of recreational activities or mental health resources for them?

To speak with a member of our Community Outreach Center staff, please call 845.279.1467. Or learn more about the Community Outreach Center here