Foundation Launches Online Care Network for Kids' Behavioral Health

September 23, 2009
Williamsburg Yorktown Daily

WILLIAMSBURG, VA.Seventeen local nonprofits, part of The Greater Williamsburg Child Assessment Center, launched a new online service Wednesday to help meet the behavioral health needs of area children and teens.

This is the first project to come out of the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation’s Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative, a group of community partners who created the GWCAC. They wanted to offer a single point of access to increase public awareness of all the programs and help available for kids, teens, and their families dealing with behavioral issues.

The Network of Care’s Greater Williamsburg Behavioral Health Web site http://gwcac.va.networkofcare.org offers online information for individuals, families, and agencies concerned with mental and emotional wellness. It matches parents, educators and others seeking mental health services with local providers in the Triangle.

There are 437 local services available on the site now, with more expected, according to Parker. Visitors will be able to ask questions online, too.

WCHF’s Program Officer Paulette Parker says, “We have come into contact with so many families who don’t know where to turn for behavioral health services.  The system for services is difficult to navigate, and how and where to find information is just daunting for some families.”

“This is a big issue right now in the community,” WCHF spokeswoman Diane Powers says. “Families have tight budgets, children have parents that face military deployments, and young people are really feeling the crunch.”

The Web site is part of a national system designed by Trilogy Integrated Resources http://www.trilogyir.com/, and was tailored to fit the local community and focus on youth behavioral health services. The company has organized over 370 national behavioral health sites, which means the community will also have access to national information, says Parker.

The national Network of Care offers a searchable database of articles, and a simple medical record storage feature that’s password protected.

Representatives of 25 local agencies participated in the orientation on Wednesday.