Our Voice: We're thankful for students who will be future leaders

Crisis center

Mental health issues have been at the forefront lately. Whether it is from an increase in incidents or heightened awareness of them, it gives us hope for a safer tomorrow that the community has a triage facility especially for mental health patients.

The Transitions program at Lourdes Counseling Center is a step in the right direction. It provides step-up and step-down care to shorten -- or even avoid -- stays in a psychiatric hospital.

It also gives law enforcement an option besides lock up for people with mental health issues.

Our care system for the mentally ill is far from perfect. In fact, it also is far from adequate.

But we are grateful for this new resource in our community. Mental health care is an important concern for all of us.

Summer refresher

We see two excellent outcomes from the ALAS program. No doubt it's good for the kids who receive the tutoring and encouragement. But what pleases us even more is that high school kids are taking the lead in the program. They are providing a service and are happy to do so.

Ambassadors of Lakeview Achieving Success is a neighborhood camp of sorts. It gets kids in elementary and middle school rubbing shoulders with successful and motivated high school students.

This is the program's third summer. It helps students academically and boosts the confidence of older and younger students.

For many kids, the hard part of school isn't mastering the actual material, it's believing that they can learn.

When high schoolers spend time with the younger kids and encourage them, it says a lot -- especially about the teens -- much more than words can express.

Their enthusiasm for learning is contagious. It's the kind of an epidemic we hope everyone catches.

Palin' around

Partners N Pals is another great program that teams up clients who need some help with teens who are able to fill that need.

Able-bodied youth and disabled friends spend the summer together doing fun activities. Again we are glad for the service that this provides for the community. It gives disabled kids something to do and someone to do it with. It also gives their families a little respite for those long days when school is not in session.

But it also gives the able-bodied friend an opportunity to lead and serve.

The Mid-Columbia is better all around because of programs like this one.