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Lunchmeat Underpants

Lunchmeat Underpants

New Stuff and Inspiration

Putting the pieces together

Nearly one out of five kids will face a mental health challenge. What’s even more alarming is, only 1/3 will ever receive the help they need. That means the other 2/3 are far more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, engage in delinquent behavior, attempt suicide, drop out of school (if they’re not expelled) and live a life of crime and substance abuse. In fact, up to 70% of youths in juvenile justice systems have unmet mental health needs.

Enter a System of Care. A System of Care is like an ongoing status meeting of dedicated professionals and loved ones centered on a specific child. Everyone involved comes together to discuss the child’s current situation, strengths and needs. Information is shared, and real improvements are achieved almost right from the start. The growth plan is constantly evaluated and modified. So the child gets the help she needs, right in his or her own community. In fact, 90% of kids entering a System of Care have their emotional and behavioral problems reduced or stabilized after 18 months.

The brief from Wyoming Dept of Health called for a leave-behind and brochure explaining a System of Care. The more we read about these kids, the more we realized how disjointed their minds and lives were. So what better way to show disjointedness than with a puzzle?

One side of the puzzle showed the fractured life and potential consequences of a kid, whom we named Craig, with unaddressed behavioral problems (this is the side shown). The other side of the puzzle showed what Craig’s life could be like under a System of Care—where his inherent gifts would be recognized, the seemingly disparate aspects of his life would come together, interact on the same page and finally start to make sense. In other words, Craig’s photo and life were  put together properly.