Prevention Counseling

Prevention Counseling is client-centered individual counseling to support youth in making choices that are reflective of their own priorities, and choices that subsequently work in service of their long-term future plans.

All participants in the Empowerment Center attend two sessions with a Prevention Counselor (PC). The first meeting is an intake interview, completed on a participant’s first visit to the center. We use this meeting to learn about the new participant’s life, present circumstances, and to try to identify how they may best benefit from their time at Y-HEP. This is also a time for Y-HEP staff to describe the services and resources available, how they may be accessed, and to explain the Rights and Responsibilities that all members of the community are expected to uphold.

Participants may meet with PCs as many times as they wish, depending on their changing needs. PCs offer appointments and will also see folks on a walk-in basis.

The flexibility of this format accommodates Y-HEP participants with varying schedules and needs, and increases accessibility.

Areas of focus can vary widely depending on the needs and priorities of the young person. Prevention Counselors are well equipped to support participants with issues such as:

  • Employing safer sex practices
  • Harm reduction strategies around substance use
  • Securing housing
  • Seeking job training opportunities
  • Enrolling in school
  • Applying to specialized programs such as JobCorps

PCs link participants to other services as well, including:

  • Behavioral health treatment
  • Medical care
  • Legal support
  • Benefits such as Medical Assistance, SNAP and SSI.

For more information, please contact Kiara Washington,