ASK is a non-profit (501c3) organization dedicated to supporting families and improving the system of care for children’s mental health. Through collaboration with families and community partners, we hope to guide this system toward becoming more family-driven, youth-guided, and culturally competent.
We believe that the best support comes from someone who has ‘been there’, and who can personally relate to the obstacles, frustrations, joys and celebrations that go along with raising a child with mood, emotional, or behavioral challenges. As parents of children with mood, behavior, and emotional disorders themselves, our Family Support Partners draw from personal experience and perspective to empower families.
In 2004, when a group of individuals with ties to the local chapter of the Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disorders (MACED) decided they’d like local control over policies and fundraising, they applied for nonprofit status and ASK was born. At approximately the same time, another local group was working on a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) federal grant to fund children’s mental health system of care work. The six year nine million dollar grant was awarded to Kalamazoo County in October 2005, with Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS) named as recipient and fiscal agent. KCMHSAS named their grant project Kalamazoo Wraps (KWRAPS).
ASK was tasked with providing a resource to families in need of guidance and support, serve as a bridge to systems including Mental Health; Juvenile Justice; Education; and Child Welfare, and received a very large increase in funding to serve as the family-serving organization. Through time, ASK was able to build infrastructure, implement the Family Support Model, a peer to peer model of service delivery, and expand its programs for families.
Though the SAMHSA grant was completed in September of 2010, ASK continues to maintain strong relationships with its system of care partners and to expand on programs and services that will allow for families to provide the best support for their children.
Raising kids can be tough. If you need help, just ASK!