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(Source Atlanta Tribune):
GIRLS, INC ATLANTA AND WITHERITE LAW GROUP TO HOST MENTAL HEALTH WORKSHOP FOR ATLANTA HIGH STUDENTS ON NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY
The Atlanta-based law firm donated more than $75,000 over the last two years to fund program with Girls, Inc. of Atlanta to provide licensed therapists and mental health counseling targeting local high school teens
ATLANTA, OCTOBER 24, 2022 – In recognition of National Stress Awareness Day, Witherite Law Group and 1-800-TruckWreck are donating $42,000 to Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta (GIGA) to mental health program for youth in metro Atlanta, which includes providing licensed therapists at schools to provide counseling services for students. The Wellness program will kick-off on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 2 p.m. at Global Impact Academy, 155 Shaw Drive, Fairburn, GA 30213. The event will feature a mental health, stress awareness and emotional wellness workshop for 150 students, which will provide resources and tools for stress reduction, suicide prevention, bullying and other stressors that kids and teens face every day. The workshop will be led by Tristan Marsh, licensed therapist. There will also be remarks by Girls, Inc. chief executive officer, Tiffany Collie-Bailey, followed by an official check presentation and remarks by Amy Witherite, founder of Witherite Law Group and 1-800-TruckWreck.
The mental health and social and emotional wellness program at Global Impact Academy is provided through programming funded by Witherite Law Group. In 2021, Witherite Law Group donated $33,000 to Girls, Inc. of Greater Atlanta and this year they are donating $42,000 to continue these impactful programs. In addition to the workshops, the funding also provides a licensed therapist to provide counseling services, which are available to all students and families at the school. This helps extend the reach of school counselors, who don’t often have the time to provide counseling for students.
“Educating youth, especially the next generation of female leaders is a priority for our corporate culture at 1-800-TruckWreck and Witherite Law Group,” said Amy Witherite. “Mental health and social emotional wellness are of paramount concern and providing resources for teens now will help provide better outcomes for their future.”
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that looked at 85,102 suicides in 14 states from 2015 to 2020. The journal says that in Georgia, there were around 106 suicides in 2020 in kids ages 10 to 19. That number went up from 88 suicides from the previous six years.
In addition to suicide, anxiety, and mental illness, thousands of kids experience youth violence every day, according to CDC. Youth violence negatively impacts youth in all communities—urban, suburban, and rural. Black or African American youth and young adults are at higher risk for the most physically harmful forms of violence (e.g., homicides, fights with injuries, aggravated assaults) compared with White youth and young adults. The workshop will address the stress caused by youth violence and provide tools on how to deal with it and reduce the associated stress.
“There is a clear deficit in mental and emotional resources in our community. Thanks to the ongoing support from Witherite Law firm, Girls, Inc. was able to implement healthy interventions through a two generational approach where we teach Wellness and Social & Emotional techniques to the students and the parents, ensuring greater success within the school, home, and community,” Tristan Marsh, Wellness & Family Engagement Director, Girls, Inc. of Greater Atlanta.
In addition to the mental health resources, the donation from Witherite Law Group also funds a Girls, Inc. after-school program whose main participants are from underserved communities across Metro Atlanta. Some of the participants are girls who are living in extended stay hotels. The Marietta Economy Extended Stay Hotel After-School Program was developed in partnership with Girls, Inc., Witherite Law Group and three extended stay hotels across metro-Atlanta. The program serves students from Clayton, Cobb and Fulton Counties, including Atlanta Public Schools, and includes academic tutoring; interactive programming in STEM and literature; health and wellness education and activities; financial literacy and life skills programs; and counseling to address the mental health needs of the students; particularly, the toll of living in transitional housing.
“For over 46 years, Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta has been providing programs across the Metro-Atlanta area that has focused on inspiring girls to be Strong, Smart and Bold,” said Tiffany Collie-Bailey. “It is through the support of amazing partners such as the Witherite Law Firm that we’re able to ensure that no child is left behind with programs such as this one.”
Girls, Inc., picks the participants up from school each day, provides them with a snack and then goes through the daily programming. They even provide transportation back to the hotels for those living in extended stays, making it easier for parents who are trying to work and improve their current living situations.
With continued support from grants and community partners like Witherite Law Group, the program is slated to extend into a four- week summer program to combat summer learning loss. The summer program will also include interactive STEM and literacy, health and well-being education and activities, movement, exploration of careers and post-secondary education and field trips.
For more information on The Marietta Economy Extended Stay Hotel After-School Program, please visit girlsincatl.org.