ELKINS - Children throughout some Randolph and Pocahontas county schools will be able to receive specialized play therapy services thanks to the generosity of the Snowshoe Foundation.
Four mobile play therapy kits, funded by the foundation, will be utilized by traveling therapists employed by Youth Health Service Inc. to provide school-based mental health services. Kelsey Laubach, a therapist in Pocahontas County, said she is grateful for the kits.
"It is nice to have the kit ready to take to the schools," Laubach said. "They are really difficult to put together. You need to have all of the pieces - it is not just a random group - each piece has a specific purpose."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Jaylea Herron, right, a 5-year-old kindergarten student at Beverly Elementary, helps take inventory of a mobile play therapy kit with Youth Health Service Inc. therapist Kelsey Laubach. Funding for four new kits was provided by the Snowshoe Foundation.
Laubach said the kit allows children to direct the play, which is how kids communicate best. The kits allow Youth Health therapists to create a therapeutic environment wherever they are seeing children who are unable to verbally communicate their psychological distress.
"These kits provide specialized toys and equipment that therapists use in child-centered play therapy, all easily stored and transported in wheeled cases," lead therapist Tammie Rizzio said. "What a difference this has made in being able to meet the therapy needs of young kids. Now, instead of individual children and families driving sometimes one to two hours to a clinic site to receive counseling services, therapists can take their travel kits with them and see numerous children at a school throughout the day. We are so grateful for the support of the Snowshoe Foundation."
Additional information about children and teen mental health treatment and services through Youth Health Services is available by calling 304-636-9450, or online at www.youth-health.org.