Hibiscus Children’s Center Helps Children Heal Through Mental Health Services


May is “Mental Health Awareness Month”.  During this time, and throughout the year, Hibiscus Children’s Center focuses on providing Mental Health Services to children and youth in our care and in the community to help them overcome the obstacles and challenges they are facing.  Some of the issues addressed include low self-esteem, divorce and family conflict, child sexual abuse, physical abuse or neglect, drop in grades or problems concentrating in class, sudden changes in behavior, and excessive fears, phobias, anxiety, and depression.    

Hibiscus Children’s Center provides these services to abused children residing at the Hibiscus Children’s Village in Vero Beach and Tilton Family Children’s Shelter in Jensen Beach. Professional in-home counseling services are provided throughout the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County to serve the community with therapeutic services that focus on decreasing emotional and behavioral issues related to abuse, trauma, neglect, and mental health disorders. 

At Hibiscus Children's Center, we understand that child sexual abuse is not only traumatic on the child, it impacts the entire family.  Our Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (SATP) provides specialized treatment services for children who are victims of sexual abuse, as well as for their families.  Through a combination of family and individual counseling for child sexual abuse survivors and their families, SATP works to reduce the trauma caused by sexual victimization.  Hibiscus Children’s Center is the only Department of Health sanctioned Sexual Abuse Treatment Program on the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County.

Six-year old Jarrod (name changed) displayed very aggressive behavior at home and at school.  He was hitting, kicking, spitting, throwing furniture at teachers and standing on tables.  The Hibiscus Community Mental Health Counselor worked closely with Jarrod and his mom.  The Counselor guided the mom on learning how to communicate and not just react to the behaviors.  The Counselor and Jarrod practiced roll playing appropriate vs. inappropriate behaviors and taught him about various emotions and how they impact our behaviors.  After some time, the Hibiscus Counselor began to see significant progress. Jarrod had no more instances of aggression in the classroom and began to communicate his feelings with others, especially when he felt upset.  He stated to his teachers, who were overwhelmed with joy, “I don’t ever want to get angry at this school again. I am going to be happy and not fight anymore.”  This is what the Hibiscus Counselor was working so diligently towards with Jarrod and his mom. Jarrod went from a child who was disruptive and didn’t know how to communicate his feelings effectively to positive communications and appropriate behaviors.  There is no doubt that this professional Mental Health Therapist has made a difference in the lives of Jarrod, his mom, as well as his teachers and classmates.

Lacey Buxton, LMHC, Director of Outpatient Services/Sexual Abuse Treatment Program Coordinator, shared "Every day we witness youth, just like Jarrod, whose lives are transformed through the love, care and Mental Health Services provided by Hibiscus Children’s Center.  Our goal is to help children develop the necessary coping skills, heal from the trauma they have endured and grow into their fullest potential."   

If you would like more information about Hibiscus Children’s Center and our Mental Health Services, please visit us at