Hively, a Pleasanton-based child and family support nonprofit, recently celebrated the official opening of its second site-certified clinical therapy location during a ribbon-cutting ceremony after years of working toward the goal of establishing community mental health services for children and their families in the Tri-Valley.
"At Hively, we treat the whole family," Hively CEO Mary Hekl said in a press release upon the May 5 ceremony.
Located on 7901 Stoneridge Drive, across from the nonprofit's corporate headquarters, mental health services will offer 10 dedicated therapists on staff; affordable, quality counseling services; and both in-person and remote one-on-one therapy sessions as well as group counseling sessions.
While Hively also offers these clinical mental health services from its offices in San Leandro, Hekl and Hively Board Chair Ryan Duncan stated in the press release that the opening of the second location was significant because it is now one of the few Medi-Cal providers in the Tri-Valley that will ensure widespread access to these resources for low-income families.
Hekl also stated that because of the increasing number of adolescents who had experienced at least one major depressive disorder in 2020, forcing the American Academy of Pediatrics to declare a state of emergency in teen mental health, this service is crucial now more than ever.
Apart from Hively leaders and members of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, other local Tri-Valley leaders such as Pleasanton Vice Mayor Jack Balch spoke on the pandemic's impact on mental health with younger people and about the epidemic of loneliness that shows the need for these types of resources.
"It should ring true in all of our hearts as to the need," Balch said in the press release. "We hear it; we see it; we know it."
Livermore Mayor John Marchand, who also attended the ribbon-cutting, lauded the increase of mental health services in the Tri-Valley and echoed what Hekl touched on regarding the need to treat people suffering from mental illnesses and their families with "kindness and grace".
"Has there ever been a time when these two traits have been in shorter supply?" Marchand asked. "We need kindness and grace now more than ever."
Another positive aspect that is coming out of the newly opened mental health resource is that apart from the clinicians licensed in marriage and family therapy, the nonprofit will also be hosting a trainee program where supervised clinicians-in-training will be able to complete the necessary clinical hours to gain their licenses, according to Hively officials.
"Hively is contributing to the supply of counseling services by helping to train the next generation of therapists," director of clinical services Sue Denny stated, adding that the trainee program is an important and necessary element in growing services to meet demand.