There is a new mental health facility in Pittsburgh that provides free services to teens and young adults ages 12 to 22 to stay connected and receive both therapy and advice.
UpStreet is a non-profit organization located at 5743 Bartlett St. in Pittsburgh. You can chat, schedule an appointment and seek mentoring remotely. Additionally, you can check out their blog posts on their website at upstreetpgh.org.
“This was my idea four years ago,” founder of UpStreet Dana Gold said. “I grew up with a lot of family issues and worked at a lot of nonprofits. I realized that there weren't a lot of options for people that were quick and easy. People will direct you to services to get them wealthy.
“Youth can walk into UpStreet and get a coffee and have support such as ‘my mom’s mad, I’m upset I can't go home.’”
UpStreet has been up and running for about two months now, and it is help run by a board of youth.
“We are not here to sell you anything, but to make mental health easier and for people to get relief,” Gold said.
She has many goals and aspirations on how she plans to help UpStreet grow.
“We hope to be a walk-in/drop-in center, not only therapy, but creative expression groups. Also, we plan to start other activities to help with mental health wellness.”
She said they offer text-based peer mentoring.
“These are people who have been through hard times and can now help someone younger than them trying to get through their journey. In the new year, we want parent-to-parent text based as well. Sometimes fear can create conflicts that are life changing to youth. Parent’s need help, too.”
Additionally, Gold hopes to implement wellness activities like drawing or yoga.
“Many of our ideas are new and innovative from programs in Israel, Australia and Canada for youth to self-initiate,” she said.
Gold then went on to describe how the pandemic has affected UpStreet and how they plan to keep it going throughout the next few months.
“We provide drop-in hours for all over the world in the form of a chat box. If someone wants more service, students can just make an appointment through chats which have no waiting time and are immediate.”
Good news, especially for teens and young adults who don’t have much money, is that these services can be free with no insurance.
“UpStreet is there to support people until they can get an appointment,” she said. The group that is impacted the most by the pandemic is 11- to 17-year-olds, and the second highest is 18- to 25-year-olds,” she said.
UpStreet is a great new and innovative program that is a blessing for the madness of 2020 and for years to come. Youths should be able to have a safe place where they aren’t judged when talking about how they feel and staying healthy.
UpStreet is and will save the lives of the youth not just from Pittsburgh, but from local counties as well. This will pave a new way for online support groups.