Hillsides Chemical Dependency Awareness & Prevention Program Director Cindy Real with Jonathan Aceves, a program manager for rehabilitative services at Hillsides. Families will have access to the new program through the agency's Family Resource Centers and school-based sites.
(Pasadena, CA) - The Pasadena-headquartered charity Hillsides has expanded its services to include a Chemical Dependency Awareness and Prevention program. Families throughout Los Angeles County will have access to the program through the agency's Family Resource Centers and school-based sites.
"Our goal is to provide support for the families we serve who may be facing a difficult time in their life," said the program director, Cindy Real. "Our families are resilient, and have many strengths, but are faced with many challenges. We feel it is important to provide them with the tools they need to move their families forward. We hope that providing a chemical dependency program through Hillsides will make it easier for them to participate in treatment when they are ready."
Hillsides has trained 22 staff members in the Matrix substance abuse model, a client-centered, evidence-based course of treatment acknowledged as a leader in the field. The agency has also created an intern program for students who are becoming certified chemical dependency counselors.
Hillsides is taking substance abuse referrals at its three Family Resource Centers, located in Baldwin Park, Echo Park, and Pasadena. Staff are also treating clients from several of the 15 schools in four Los Angeles County school districts where Hillsides offers mental health services.
At one school, North Park Alternative in Baldwin Park, Hillsides worked with the principal to create a chemical dependency education program for students and their parents. Students who normally would be expelled due to substance use now attend education classes and are able to stay in school while given tools to address substance use. Their parents must attend chemical dependency education workshops as well.
Other principals have also contacted Hillsides and asked for the agency to put on chemical dependency workshops for their schools. "Our program is already having to expand to meet the needs of our communities," said Real.
Parent education is a key component of the program. Hillsides staff have conducted substance abuse awareness and prevention workshops at local schools, such as Wilson Middle School in Pasadena, and will continue to reach out to local schools and organizations.
"It is our hope that with early prevention, children develop the skills they need to make good choices," said Real.
Creating a Chemical Dependency Awareness and Prevention program is yet another step Hillsides is taking to meet the comprehensive needs of the agency's clients, according to Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides chief executive officer. "Adding this component to our services is essential for the mental health and overall well-being of those we serve, and helps us succeed in our mission of creating lasting change," he said.
[Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and families throughout Los Angeles County. For more information on Hillsides, please visit www.hillsides.org.]