Heroes for Health: Les Higgenbottom

This spotlight series is designed to profile members of the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health. Over the coming months, the series will feature individual Collaborative members, each of whom is integral to the group’s efforts to forge stronger connections and establish new approaches to strengthen the social and emotional development of our children.

This series is an opportunity to highlight and recognize the diverse individuals, services and resources available to the Racine community.

Who: Les Higgenbottom, Psychotherapist at Portis Marriage and Children Counseling LLC

Website: http://www.portismarriageandchildrencounseling.mynetworksolutions.com

Email: llhiggenbottom@gmail.com

Phone: 262-634-2391

About Portis Marriage and Children Counseling LLC: Portis Marriage and Children Counseling Clinic is a private outpatient facility offering comprehensive mental health treatment services. The purpose of the clinic is to provide the highest quality services, which are tailored to the specific needs and situations of clients, and which are useful in managing clients; identified concerns. The clinic’s goal is to enhance the personal adjustment and functioning of the individuals, couples, and families who come to the clinic for assistance. The clinic offers rapid responses to treatment requests, 24-hour emergency assistance, weekends, and evening appointments. The professional staff of Portis Marriage and Children Counseling Clinic is licensed and certified to practice in the state of Wisconsin. They have practiced in the Racine and greater southeastern Wisconsin is for a number of years. They represent the disciplines of social work, children therapy, marriage and family therapy.

Words from Les, a Hero for Health:

Children’s mental health is about so much more than the treatment itself. We must make sure to treat the causes and stressors contributing to mental health challenges rather than just placing a bandage on the symptoms. Our children deserve integrated, holistic care. When we address underlying issues at home, we can help strengthen the mental health of an entire family.

As a longtime psychotherapist and addiction counselor, I have seen first hand what we can do with proper resources and funding. And I have also seen the power of great case managers.

When we provide our families with a dedicated case manager focused on weaving a fabric of services around an entire family, all family members are better able to participate in a child’s mental health care. A case manager can be an advocate for each family’s individual needs, helping fit all pieces of the puzzle together. They can teach parents basic skills such as grocery shopping and cooking. They can provide rides and help secure babysitters, making it possible for children and their parents to attend therapy appointments. They can work with all family members - parents, grandparents, and siblings - instead of just the child.

When practitioners and case managers include family members in the mental health care process, it allows us to work together to address the stressors contributing to the mental health challenges that a child may be facing. Our work to support and empower the important people in a child’s life can help parents provide a more stable home environment in the long term.

I take pride in the Collaborative’s effort to improve the lives of those in our community who need us most. I will know we have been successful when I see us working as a community to identify problems quickly and navigate roadblocks in a more cooperative, integrated and coordinated manner.

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