New Milford Youth Agency shifts focus to meeting mental health needs
NEW MILFORD — There’s a growing need for mental health services in town, with teens reporting they’re more anxious, stressed or depressed.
Jason O’Connor, who took over the New Milford Youth Agency on Wednesday, is looking to address these needs by steering the agency in a more therapeutic direction. He hopes to bring in more clinical services and expand the groups already offered.
“We’re doing amazing work here and we’re looking to expand that amazing work,” he said. “I’m truly excited for it.”
The Town Council recently approved making Sullivan Farm its own municipal entity, which has freed up some of the work for the Youth Agency and allow for this new focus. The agency and farm will still work together and continue the educational and employment opportunities offered through both.
Youth service bureaus are mandated by the state to provide a number of tasks, including coordinating services for youths in marginalized populations and identifying service gaps for youth in town. O’Connor said the Youth Agency is already doing this, but the therapeutic offerings will strengthen their community support and mental health work.
“We need to align ourselves back with a traditional youth service bureau,” he said.
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