From left to right are participants from the booster hosted by Chris 180: TaShara Jones, Gregory Ware (on the TV), Michelle Miller, Veronica Mayfield, and McKinsley Demarcus.
Throughout the year, we highlight individuals in the MST community that demonstrate outstanding and meritorious service to help youth and their families around the world. Even through challenging times, MST Services can count on our network of professionals to continue inspiring and transforming lives.
Providing Continuous, Reliable Services in the Face of a Pandemic
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) services are designed for youth at high risk of severe system consequences due to serious externalizing, anti-social, and/or delinquent behaviors. Teens and families referred to MST are often among the most vulnerable, and without treatment, they may struggle with school, employment, relationships, drugs and alcohol, and criminal behaviors into adulthood. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly introduced additional struggles and stress on communities around the world, but through the use of telehealth methodologies and the support of our network of professionals, MST teams have been able to continue services during a time when families need them most.
Whenever There Is a Need, We Are There
Referral sources play a large role in the healthcare system. With them, specialists can help individuals address their needs. An article by HealthviewX explains, “The importance of a referral is that it is not just the next step in care delivery, but for patients who may need desperate treatment, an efficient referral could lead them on the path to recovery.”
Adolescents who meet the criteria for MST are identified and referred via various avenues, such as Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, Social Care, and/or Child Welfare systems. Additional streams might include teens who are detected via their school system, young people returning home from foster care or who are currently in foster care with a plan for permanency in that arrangement, or individuals being diverted from placement and/or court system involvement. MST effectively treats at-risk youth and their families by utilizing a built-in suite of services within the home, school, and community settings.
During this pandemic, the strength and determination of our network of champions, stakeholders, and therapists, allows MST to continue treating youth and their families even if in-person face-to-face collaboration isn't possible. Because of this continued stream of referrals and support, MST has served over 26,643 families since March of 2020!
How One Referral Can Make a Difference
The following success story was shared by a mother whose daughter, Kate, was referred to MST through a school social worker. Note: Names have been changed for confidentiality.
“MST treatment was referred by the social worker at Kate’s school. Kate disclosed in confidence that she was self-harming and the social worker had also noticed a drastic change in Kate’s grades.
After the services started, I realized that I am not the perfect parent that I thought I was. Kate shared that I have become more understanding when she talks to me about her school, friends, or anything that is on her mind. Kate has opened up about her curiosities and her sexuality even though she is still young. I am grateful that I can talk with her about her feelings and help her feel accepted. Additionally, Kate’s teacher and I have been able to see Kate’s improvements in school, and we are both proud of her and let her know that we are.
Kate has improved her communication with the family and I am thankful for the support from our MST therapist.”
Stories like this show how the support from therapists, schools, and families can help youth thrive in the future.
A Thank You From MST Services
Thank you to all MST stakeholders, champions, therapists, and other referral avenues for enabling MST provider agencies to continue operating throughout COVID-19. We appreciate everything our community does for youth and families in need. The issues that teens and families face in their homes, schools, and environments still exist, but MST can be a part of the solution. We have seen that through hard times, MST is still successful. Moreover, we have seen our therapists and teams around the world make a truly lasting impact on the youth, families, and communities we serve, and for that, we are incredibly grateful.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an evidence-based alternative to incarceration. MST effectively treats at-risk youth and their families by utilizing a built-in suite of services within the home, school, and community settings. Services include but are not limited to: social skills training, drug and alcohol intervention, mental health services, and peer management.