Play therapy can help children and young people build resilience which, in turn, helps them cope and be more engaged with treatment. Play can help give children their sense of control and autonomy back – which are often lost through illness and hospitalization. Play can also strengthen family wellbeing and relationships.
Mitchell’s Fund is a 501c3 non-profit corporation and contributions fund counseling for sick children with a terminal or life-threatening diagnosis and their families.
Since 2016, Mitchell’s Fund had provided funding to support two mental health counselors who worked in the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health, and supported programs that promoted understanding to reduce the stigma of mental health illness. The counselors saw more than 200 children each year, providing art, play and talk therapy. They helped children navigate the shock of diagnosis, pain and anxiety during treatment and, in some cases, helped children prepare for end of life.
While working with these patients, we identified a dire need in services for our families. Our solution is Mitchell’s House, a safe space for children (ages 2-20) to share their worries and fears, while learning coping mechanisms during a medical crisis. Mitchell’s House houses therapists who focus on child-focused therapy sessions utilizing art, play and talk therapy aimed at reducing a child’s traumatic impact, identify and utilize research-informed coping techniques and teach stress management skills.
Mitchell’s House opened in 2022. For more information, contact Meg McElwain at 704.491.2053 or firstname.lastname@example.org