As pandemic persists, funds will support intensifying need for mental health services for children
BOSTON (August 19, 2020) – Doc Wayne Youth Services (“Doc Wayne”), is a Boston nonprofit that fuses sport and therapy to heal and strengthen at-risk youth, today announced it has received a $381,000 grant from The Charles Hayden Foundation in New York City to support the expansion of its programs and team as the pandemic propels the need for mental health services.
Through group and individual sport-based therapy and mentoring services, Doc Wayne helps more than 450 Massachusetts youth each week that face difficulties associated with mental health, chronic trauma and domestic or community violence.
“While the pandemic is causing significant stress and anxiety for adults, children are struggling with fear and despair due to the dramatic disruption of their lives,” commented David Cohen, CEO of Doc Wayne. “This grant is going to have an enormous impact on our ability to help more children manage their stress and cope during this extremely difficult time, and help establish some normalcy in their lives.” He concluded, “We are beyond grateful to the Charles Hayden Foundation for this significant grant and its ongoing support over the last several years, which has helped transform the lives of children and their families.”
Founded in 1937, The Charles Hayden Foundation seeks to support the mental and physical development and wellbeing of children and young people. During this pandemic, the Foundation is deeply concerned and focused on helping organizations that serve at-risk youth in their efforts to provide support services.
Doc Wayne’s award-winning Chalk Talk® program combines clinical work with sports, and takes place
at schools, community centers and residential treatment settings throughout the state to ensure accessibility. Telehealth is being used during the pandemic and will continue thereafter in conjunction with in-person activities to expand access. Clinicians, referred to as “coaches,” engage with the children, ages five to eighteen, in a gym or on a field vs. a clinical setting, which fosters openness and trust, enabling the development of new skills and learning teamwork, with the benefits of physical activity.
A recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award and the Massachusetts Children’s Behavioral Health Innovation Award, Doc Wayne receives numerous inquiries from organizations around the globe seeking information about its innovative and successful healing model. Evidenced-based reporting by current and past participants, and parents, affirms the positive changes that have fostered confidence, resilience and academic achievement.
To promote and track social emotional development in young people, Doc Wayne has utilized the PEAR Institute’s Holistic Student Assessment (HSA). Using this tool, Chalk Talk® participants (n=95) from the 2018-19 school year self-reported positive change in many key life skills including: 92% in action orientation, 81% in perseverance, and 77% in relationships with peers. Evaluation measures have confirmed Doc Wayne’s programming develops resilient and thoughtful leaders.
Additional positive change stats from that year include:
- 83% in reflection
- 83% in critical thinking
- 81% in learning interest
- 78% in optimism
- 72% in relationships with adults
Doc Wayne was formed by Susan Wayne in memory of her brother Dr. Eli Wayne, a pediatrician and a tremendous supporter of using sport as a medium for positive youth development. It became a 501(c)(3) in 2010 and since that time has held over 10,000 sessions, making a positive difference in the lives of over 6,000 youth in Massachusetts.
Doc Wayne delivers sport-based group/individual therapy and 1-on-1 therapeutic mentoring services for youth (ages 5-18) that face difficulties associated with mental health, chronic trauma and domestic or community violence. Engaging with kids in a gym or on a field vs. a clinical setting fosters openness and trust, enabling the development of new skills and learning teamwork, with the benefits of physical activity. Its Chalk Talk® program combines clinical work with sports, where clinicians, referred to as “coaches,” travel to schools, community centers and residential treatment settings to ensure accessibility. Telehealth is being used during the pandemic and will continue thereafter in conjunction with in-person activities to expand access. The program is offered in 23 locations within the Greater Boston and MetroWest regions – with some programs embedded into the curricula of local school districts.