Walk With Us

Walk With Us

Join the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and it’s Delaware Chapter for the annual ‘Out of the Darkness Walk. Raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. Funds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and its Delaware Chapter.

  • September 22 – Wilmington Walk at Delcastle Recreational Park. Register Here
  • October 19 – Milford Walk at Bicentennial Park. Register Here
A Collaborative Community that meets students where they are

A Collaborative Community that meets students where they are

Dear Community,

As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to every one of you who invests time and resources to address this critical health need that impacts everyone, regardless of race or zip code. By working hand in hand with our community, we create a comprehensive and nurturing environment where young minds flourish.

Together, we will continue our focus on increasing access to quality care by increasing awareness, removing barriers, and dismantling stigmas related to mental wellness. No organization can do it alone, but together, we can transform lives.

Warmest regards,
Linda Jennings
Community Education Building, CEO

Download the May 2023 Issue (PDF)

DGS’s and CEB New Partnership

DGS’s and CEB New Partnership

We’d like to thank all who came out to celebrate our partnership (and new space) at the Community Building. This new collaboration only strengthens our ability to provide quality behavioral health services for our Delaware youth and their families.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training

Attention Mental Health Professionals – Register for two-day training on “Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills”, led by Ellery Parker III, a licensed professional counselor of mental health for the State of Delaware.

 Course Level: Intermediate Social Workers, Counselors, Psychologists, Mental Health Professionals (ACE #: 1726  NBCC ACEP #: 6655)

Meet the Facilitator

Ellery Parker III is a licensed professional counselor of mental health for the State of Delaware. Ellery received his Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2012 and became fully licensed in 2014. Ellery has served in multiple clinical roles during his professional development that included community-based services (OP/TSF, FBMHS) and has supervised school-based counselors, outpatient therapists, master-and doctoral-level students, and is currently the Kent County MRSS supervisor. Ellery has served in multiple leadership roles, has been published, and is currently working on his PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, specializing in a dual concentration –Consultation and Program Development.

Training Objectives

  • Identify the 4 components of DBT
  • Provide psycho-education to adolescents & families re. DBT
  • Identify & utilize DBT interventions
  • Define “Walking the Middle Path”
  • Provide psycho-education to families re Walking the Middle Path
  • Identify and utilize at least 1 new intervention with adolescents & families from “Walking the Middle Path”

Details & Registration

Live in Dover

  • DBT Skills Part 1 (September 21 or October 1)
  • DBT Skills Part 2 (October 19 or November 2)
  • All trainings are scheduled from 9am-12pm
  • Registration is required and must attend both parts

Training presented by: Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth, Inc. 

Questions, grievances, cancelation, refund and special accommodations can be submitted to Cori Meek at cmeek@delawareguidance.org

Registration and more info can be found HERE.

Click HERE to view the flyer.
Gov, Carney signs mental health bills at Sean’s House

Gov, Carney signs mental health bills at Sean’s House

An organization recognized by General Assembly

Delaware Public Media | By Rachel Sawicki  |  Published August 3, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT

Gov. John Carney (D) signed 3 mental health bills, implementing more proactive measures to treat mental illness.

Legislators and stakeholders gathered at Sean’s House in Newark for the bill signings. The organization opened its doors in 2020, and has saved 61 young adults from a suicidal situation while speaking with more than 30,000 people concerning mental health and suicide awareness over the past 3 years.

State Rep. Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear) prime sponsor to the package of bills, says Sean’s House is an example of the approach lawmakers hope Delaware continues to take to addressing mental health early.

“This extraordinary nonprofit organization offers access to trained peer support specialists and community health resources,” she said. “A location to do schoolwork, a place to meet friends. By having a location young adults feel safe, welcomed, supported.”

One bill, HB 300, establish mental health service units for Delaware middle schools. over the next three years, it will boost the number of mental health professionals in middle schools to have one full-time school counselor, school social worker, or licensed clinical social worker for every 250 students and one school psychologist for every 700 students.

The bill is similar to one signed last year, which did the same in elementary schools an Longhurst says more is in the works.

“So today, we’re moving upstream and doing preventative measures in the state of Delaware,” Longhurst said. “We can no longer afford to go downstream. So today we are unlocking that light and we are going to make a difference and we will make it happen. And you will see next year I will be bringing forth another set of mental health issues or legislation and all these people behind me will be with me.”

Two other bills will implement statewide mental health educational programs for grades K-12 and will require insurance carriers to cover an annual wellness check, starting at the beginning of 2023.

“Every dollar invested in mental health can yield up to 10 times the savings in healthcare, criminal and juvenile justice and lost productivity,” Longhurst said.

Coverage for annual wellness checks begin at the beginning of 2023.

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month

Join the conversation and help spread awareness of suicide prevention!

In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, the Delaware Children’s Department is raising awareness of suicide warning signs and helpful resources, especially during this unprecedented global pandemic.

“COVID-19 has magnified the many stressors families grapple with daily, from financial stress to relationship stress, and so much more. We know that mental health and wellness have been impacted over the last six months and therefore we must be proactive and encourage children and families to reach out if they are struggling,” said Josette Manning, Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, also known as the Delaware Children’s Department.  “No one has to go through this alone.  Reach out to the Child Priority Response Line at 1-800-969-HELP or text DE to 741-741. Help – and hope – is only a call or text away.”

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide, and second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24. Every World Suicide Prevention Day, observed on September 10, is an opportunity build community and share support. To start, you can use the acronym FACTS (feelings, action, changes, threats, situations) to learn the warning signs for suicidal behavior. You can find more information online at this link, but here are a few examples:

  • Feelings: Helplessness; worthlessness; fear of hurting oneself or others
  • Action: Drug or alcohol abuse; talking or writing about death/destruction; recklessness
  • Changes: (examples) Changes in personality, behavior; loss of interest in friends and hobbies once enjoyed
  • Threats: Like “I won’t be around much longer”; plans like giving away favorite things; suicide attempts like overdosing, wrist cutting
  • Situations: Getting into trouble at school, at home, with the law; recent loss through death, divorce; the break-up of a relationship; losing an opportunity, dream

“To our caregivers and teens throughout Delaware – please know that you don’t have to wait to reach out for help. If you are struggling, help is available 24/7,” said Jill Rogers, executive director of Delaware Guidance Services, the provider that partners with DSCYF to manage the Child Priority Response Line. “If you recognize any signs of suicidal behavior, please reach out. Our crisis clinicians are training to help families work through crisis situations and direct them to needed resources. Together, we can help Delaware families get through this difficult period.”

In the last few years, Delaware has implemented several youth prevention initiatives as a result of the Project SAFETY grant, a federally-funded suicide prevention program. The grant program concluded in June, but Delaware was able to sustain the following services through community partnerships. Here are some of the accomplishments and outcomes:

  • Coordinating more than 27,000 online suicide prevention trainings for school personnel since 2017
  • Initiating about 8,000 mental health screenings of youth and screening initiatives at 44 organizations such as schools, mobile crisis units and the children’s hospital
  • Bolstering crisis services in Kent and Sussex County
  • Providing better coordination of services for youth from inpatient to outpatient care
  • Implementing a Crisis Text Line service for Delaware youth; From June 2016 to June 2020, the text line logged 1,744 text conversations and nine active rescues have taken place as a result of text line conversations
  • Creating a mental health-focused website – www.mentalhealthde.com – which is now managed by Mental Health Association in Delaware

“We know that Delawareans are in pain; our youth in particular have had to face so many changes to their day-to-day routines and activities. It’s important to check in, ask questions about mental health and just be there for one another. Death by suicide is the most preventable form of death,” said Yolanda Jenkins, Manager of Provider Services for the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services and one of the leads on the Project SAFETY grant.

“I’m grateful for the work of Project SAFETY to help lay the groundwork for these important prevention services. Due to the grant, the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services continues to offer the Crisis Text Line and partner with the Mental Health Association in Delaware on suicide prevention trainings, among other efforts. I look forward to these continued provider and partner collaborations for Delaware’s children, youth and families.”

If a child or youth is in crisis or contemplating suicide, please seek immediate help. We are in this together, and you are not alone.

“Now, more than ever, it is important that we normalize talking about mental health and asking the tough questions. When it comes to talking about suicide and being concerned about someone’s actions and/or behaviors, it is important that we intervene and get the person the help he or she needs. Never push to tomorrow a conversation you can have today. We must continue to come together as a community and create a safer state,” said Jennifer Smolowitz, Project Director for Suicide Prevention at the Mental Health Association in Delaware.

Please see the below resources:

  • Delaware’s 24-hour Child Priority Response Hotline: 1-800-969-HELP (4357)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text DE to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
  • Delaware Division of Substance Abuse & Mental Health Crisis Intervention Services – Mobile Crisis (for those age 18 or older):
    • Statewide: (800) 652-2929
    • New Castle County: (302) 577-2484
    • Kent/Sussex County: (800) 345-6785
  • Delaware Hope Line: 1 (833) 9-HOPEDE or (833) 946-7333
  • Mental Health Association in Delaware: Statewide: (302) 654-6833

Media Contact: Jen Rini, jen.rini@delaware.gov

Posted from September, 2020 | Read Original Post Here

Trauma Awareness Month

Trauma Awareness Month

May 2021 is the third annual Trauma Awareness Month in Delaware. This year includes a series of webinars, the Compassionate Champion Awards, a State Agency Summit and more events and opportunities to recognize the work taking place across the state. This is a time to celebrate the exceptional trauma efforts accomplished to date, share best practices and resources for trauma-informed care, and learn how trauma-informed practices can enhance organizations, for both staff and service recipients. 𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑢𝑚𝑎 𝐴𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑀𝑜𝑛𝑡ℎ 𝑖𝑠 𝑐𝑜-𝑠𝑝𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐹𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑦 𝑆𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑖𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝐶𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑡 𝐶𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑐𝑖𝑙 (𝐹𝑆𝐶𝐶) 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑢𝑚𝑎 𝑀𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝐷𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑒 (𝑇𝑀𝐷).

𝗨𝗽𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 / 𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻:

𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗮-𝗜𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗱 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗪𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿
May 5, 2021 · 12:00pm – 1:00pm · Via Zoom
Register HERE

𝗣𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗔𝗥𝗘𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀: 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗣𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗣𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗪𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿
May 12 · 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Register HERE Session A

May 12 · 5:00pm – 6:30pm · Via Zoom
Register HERE Session B

𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗮-𝗜𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗱 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗪𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿
May 19, 2021 · 10:00am – 11:00am · Via Zoom
Register HERE

𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿
May 26, 2021 · 10:00am – 11:00am · Via Zoom
Register HERE


2020 Compassionate Champion award

2020 Compassionate Champion award

We are thrilled that DGS is a 2020 Delaware Compassionate Champion award recipient! We are so proud to be recognized for our dedication and determination to serve children, youth, and families using a trauma-informed approach.
Please join us today (Thursday, October 29) at 5:00pm for Governor Carney’s video premier recognizing the 2020 Compassionate Champion award winners.
Equity Challenge Champion

Equity Challenge Champion

Become An Equity Challenge Champion!
We encourage organizations to partner with us on the 21-Day Equity Challenge.

The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, powered by United Way of Delaware (UWDE) and YWCA Delaware (YWCA), is your chance to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership, by joining thousands of other Delawareans in a 21-day journey of self-discovery that you complete online, wherever you are comfortable.

From Monday, August 17 until Monday, September 14, participants receive a daily e-mail challenge to learn about the history and impact of racism in Delaware, and the ways that bias, prejudice, privilege, and oppression show up in our everyday lives. UWDE and YWCA will also be facilitating conversation and promoting engagement with others in the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge Facebook group.

The WCAC has been an active supporter of the challenge as part of our engagement with the Delaware Racial Equity and Social Justice Collaborative. We hope that you will consider signing up. Sign Up For The Challenge today.

Harvest Moon Farm to Table

Harvest Moon Farm to Table

The DGS Harvest Moon Farm-to-Table Dinner this fall was a big hit!

And there were lots of big hearts in the barn, too! We’re extremely grateful to all of our sponsors, guests, and volunteers who made this evening possible and to Kelli Wilke for her fabulous photography. For many more photos from this event, check out the album on our Facebook page.