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Ophelia's Place meets girls where they are during pandemic

In a COVID-19 world, the problems our youth face have not disappeared.

Posted: May 21, 2020 6:29 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- In a COVID-19 world, the problems our youth face have not disappeared.

Ophelia's Place -- a prevention-based nonprofit for girls aged 10 to 18 -- has adapted the way it serves our youth during the pandemic.

Sabia Annsa, almost 12 years old, has been going to Ophelia's Place for two years.

"I used to get made fun of for like how I wore my hair or the people I hung out with," she said. "But at Ophelia's Place there's all these girls who have gone through the same thing and they tell you, 'You are an amazing person.'"

Verna Wise-Matthews, director for Ophelia's Place, said the staff recognized their girls would need them now more than ever.

"It became important that we change our service model and meet girls where they are," said Wise-Matthews.

And where they are is online.

"(We're) continuing our drop-in opportunities, continuing our class, we're offering telehealth therapy sessions," said Wise-Matthews.

The nonprofit offers support like trauma therapy and drop-in groups that deal with issues such as body image, anxiety, and sex. Their services are available for all girls regardless of background.

"Ophelia's Place has given me a lot of self esteem and I'm sure it has for other girls too," said Annsa.

According to the World Health Organization, one in six people are aged 10 to 19. In that age group, nearly 16% of the global burden for illness and disease comes from mental health conditions.

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