Girls Place secured funding and initiated BrainPower in October 2015, Girls Place’s first onsite mental health services program. The goals of the BrainPower are as follows:
- Provide girls access to mental health consultation, assessment, and treatment
- Provide mental health support for girls struggling with anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), learning disorders and behavior/conduct disorders in a safe and nurturing environment
- Provide education and early intervention to build the capacity for girls and families to cope with potentially harmful situations and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
- Provide staff with training to perform preliminary monitoring of mental health concerns for the purposes of referring girls for mental
health and/or treatment and/or referral to appropriate community resources where necessary.
Girls Place has been able to secure the services of Mercedes (Mercy) Machado to serve as Coordinator of the BrainPower program. Mercy, a doctoral student in the Counselor Education program at the University of Florida, brings to Girls Place her extensive experience in crisis intervention and work with survivors of various types of trauma, including survivors of child abuse and/or neglect.
As part of a broadening initiative to provide service to the growing number of girls at Girls Place, the BrainPower program was able to become an approved clinical training site to Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy practicum and internship students at the University of Florida Counselor Education program. BrainPower was able to subsequently successfully recruit clinical interns from the University of Florida’s Counselor Education. BrainPower is committed to providing quality mental health services to the young women at Girls Place and to their families. To accomplish this goal, BrainPower has, is in the process of, securing partnerships with various community partners.