INSIGHTSPARTNERS IN PHILANTHROPY
Charity Spotlight: Michael Burgoyne, CFP®, CHFC®
Helping a Community Heal the Children
If you’ve ever loved someone with a mental health illness or have endured one yourself, you are aware of mental health stigma. Those who are afflicted often face prejudice and discrimination while also battling their own feelings of shame. The majority of adults who have mental health illnesses do not receive treatment primarily because of the associated stigma. Now, imagine you are not an adult, but a child who has a mental illness. Where can your family turn for support and treatment? If you live in Clark County, Washington you have the Children’s Center.
“There are more kids who die every year from suicide than cancer. We can all name a family who has battled childhood cancer. But what about childhood mental illness?” asked Michael Burgoyne, Founder and President of Laurus Wealth Management. “When cancer happens people talk about it, they rally around the family, treatment resources are accessible, and the support is there. When we become aware of a child with mental illness, we question the parenting and then don’t let our kids play together anymore.”
Michael and his wife Denise have both witnessed the impact of mental health stigma on children and their families throughout their careers. Him as a trusted financial advisor working closely with families and her as a court-appointed special advocate working with foster children. By coincidence or fate, they were introduced to the Children’s Center, whose mission aligned with their passion, expertise, and charitable goals.
One in five children in America has a mental illness that is treatable. However, children battling mental health issues are unable to self-diagnose, cannot seek treatment on their own, and may have parents with mental health stigmas who are reluctant to give them the medicine they need or are without the financial resources to get them adequate treatment. When children go without treatment, they are alone in the battle, left misunderstood by their families, teachers, and peers leading to isolation, bullying, poor academic performance and lost opportunities for positive life experiences.
With strong partners like the Burgoyne’s and Laurus Wealth Management, the Children’s Center delivers specialized outpatient mental health counseling and psychiatric services to over 2000 children and teens each year in the Evergreen, Vancouver, Battle Ground, and La Center School Districts. The children and their families can receive therapeutic services at school from trained mental health professionals from the Children’s Center and also at the charity’s 15,000 square foot facility which includes an art therapy room.
“The Children’s Center is an example of what each school district in our country needs right now,” stated Michael. “It’s working! If there is a preemptive resource easily accessible to help diagnose and treat mental health illness early, we can change the lives of millions of children, their families, and our communities.”
To learn more about the Children’s Center, please visit http://thechildrenscenter.org.