BY DAVID JAMES HOT
Banning welcomed a new social services space last week as Oasis Community Services officially opened and will be a focal point for children 21 and under who may be struggling with depression, anxiety, and mental illness.
Given the tragic events that are becoming commonplace in schools these days, society could use more awareness that mental illness is not just a condition that only manifests itself in adults: According to statistics, guest speaker Mary Hamlin became a councilor from Banning, listed by the CDE, 7.1 percent of children under the age of 17 were diagnosed with anxiety; while 1.9 million children were diagnosed with depression; and one in six children ages 2 to 8 has a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.
“We welcome the Oasis Children’s Mental Health Services to our town,” said Hamlin. “Early diagnosis and adequate services for children can improve the lives of children with mental disorders. Now our children can benefit from early diagnosis and treatment. Some families cannot find psychiatric care in their area due to a lack of providers or have to travel long distances to receive care. Not in the banning or pass area. “
Robert Lopez, an administrator of Oasis, said his agency will cover family therapy with an “emphasis on children whose normal development may be prevented”.
A handful of clinicians attended the grand opening, and several more were expected to join.
Riverside County’s Western Child Mental Health Administrator Novanh Xayarath told guests that the county “has been trying to expand services to Banning and the Pass area. Children who are in an emotional crisis now have access to a place where they can get help, ”he adds to the thousands his agency has supported in the Coachella region.
Colleen Wallace, Banning’s mayor protégé, told visitors that she had previously worked in mental health and “If I had to choose between working with girls or boys, I would work with boys every day.”
“I’m just thankful you’re here,” said Wallace.
Beaumont Police Chief Sean Thuilliez said: “We are fortunate to have such a facility in the passport area. Oasis will be a strategic partner “as his department encounters situations where children need mental health services.
System Behavioral Health Group vice president Christine Graham also made comments.
“Anxiety and depression doubled during the pandemic, and suicide attempts by adolescents have increased,” she said. “It is imperative that we provide the right services to our young people and parents. We are very honored to have been entrusted to help the youth of our community. “