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Google, Buckeye Ranch partner to help Ohio children battling mental health issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Google and Buckeye Ranch are teaming up to help children in Ohio who are battling mental health issues.

The goal is to provide more licensed clinicians to help 10 to 20 year old’s who are dealing with drug addiction, and make more services available to help them recover. 

Malik Alexander lost his mom at a young age and even ended up behind bars. He’s been recovering from addiction and depression with the help of Buckeye Ranch. 

“I’m kind of glad that I actually got in here because it’s actually helping me with this stuff that I need to help with,” Alexander said.

Alexander said a licensed clinician has helped turn his life around. 

“The treatment made me a better person because younger me would thank me for this,” Alexander said. 

There is a new push to give more children the type of help Alexander received. Google is giving Buckeye Ranch a grant of nearly $250,000 to extend its recovery services. 

“Youth suicide rates are on the rise,” said Vickie Thompson-Sandy, President of Buckeye Ranch. “So increasing awareness and partnering with all of our community to respond to this need is what’s vital.”

Buckeye Ranch will use the money to get more certified clinicians to speak with children who are dealing with addiction. The services will go to kids in their two-day treatment schools.

“In the community, we want to make sure we’re being a good community partner,” said MJ Henshaw, Public Affairs Manager of Google. “So not only do we want people to have the good tech skills that they need to be future innovators. We want to make sure that they have the mental health resources available to them so they can also be successful in their future careers.” 

U.S. Congressman Mike Carey has been advocating for mental health on Capitol Hill. He attended Buckeye Ranch’s panel to discuss the partnership with Google. He said it’s important to start small in our communities across Ohio to make a larger impact across America. 

“I do think that we’ve got a really good opportunity to magnify the importance of what goes on here in central-Ohio,” said Rep. Mike Carey, (R) Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. “Not just here, but across central-Ohio. I think Google’s made a very strong investment, and I think that’s going to be beneficial for everybody.” 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine continues to advocate mental health across the state. The recent fiscal budget allocated millions of dollars to go toward mental health services in Ohio. 

Source: Spectrum News 1



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