New program helps young adults in Clay, Sullivan and Vigo Counties build life skills

Young adults in Clay, Vigo and Sullivan counties are invited to participate in a free program where they will learn about cooking, resume-building, home repairs and more.

The Life Project, a new program from Hamilton Center, Inc., is designed to teach and enhance the life skills of young adults, age 14 to 26 years old. Through weekly group meetings, individuals will not only learn more about things such as cooking, cleaning, job searching, interpersonal skills and home repairs, but they will also graduate from the class with many items that they will need to put that new knowledge to work, including a tool kit, crockpot, laundry supplies and more.

“The primary goal of the program is to give young adults the skills, confidence and tools that they need to make positive choices and live successfully as they transition into adulthood,” said Sabrina Harroll, Grant Facilitator of The Life Project at Hamilton Center, Inc.

In addition to providing daily living skills for young adults, the program also hopes to serve as a way to help prevent, and provide early intervention for, youth mental health disorders in our community.

According to research done by Dr. Jay Giedd at the National Institute of Mental Health, puberty to early adulthood is the final critical stage of blooming and pruning cells in the brain, similar to that seen in the early years of life. For many young adults, these brain changes come at a time when they are also experiencing changes in friendships, social roles, self-esteem, hormones, and challenging expectations.

With so many transitions and new stressors, puberty to early adulthood is an especially vulnerable time for teens’ mental health. In Indiana, suicide has been the second-leading cause of death for Indiana youth between the ages of 15 and 24 since 2009, with one in five youth considering suicide in the past year – the highest percentage in the nation. Here in west central Indiana, there are additional stressors, with Sullivan, Clay, and Vigo counties all ranking above the state average in unemployment, single-parent households, and Children In Need of Services (CHINS).

“Many of our youth are experiencing significant challenges, which puts them at higher risk for mental health disorders, substance abuse, and high-risk behaviors,” Harroll said. “In addition to the basic living skills, we hope that this program will help our youth develop the critical thinking, conflict resolution, communication, problem-solving, and coping skills that they need as they navigate their teenage years and then make the transition out of school and into the real world.”

Hamilton Center is currently accepting applications for The Life Project, which will teach daily living and life skills to youth, ages 14 to 26 years of age, who reside in Vigo, Clay, and Sullivan counties. These group-based services will support the growth of independent living skills, employment, and interpersonal skills. Any youth, ages 14-26 years old, are eligible to apply, and the program is completely free of charge. Groups for The Life Project begin in early January and late March of 2020.

For more information, or to enroll, contact Sabrina Harroll at (812)231-8328 or sharrol@hamiltoncenter.org.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses,

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