Peg Hayes

Peg Hayes

Peg Hayes, the Director for Wilder’s Children’s Mental Health Services has provided leadership for the Child Guidance Clinic since 2002 and has worked at Wilder as a mental health professional for over 30 years. Nearly all of the children who are clients in the clinic live in poverty, struggle to cope with family conflict, and have caregivers who also have mental health needs. As a mental health professional, Peg has been dedicated to addressing the wide-ranging needs of these children and families.  As the Clinical Services Director she leads an interdisciplinary team that provides an array of services including: psychological assessment; medication management; individual, family and group therapies; family support and skills building; and others.

Peg tirelessly champions new efforts to serve low income and vulnerable children who need mental health services. Her colleagues report that she is the first to understand the challenges presented in serving low income and vulnerable communities.  “While on triage for the Child Guidance Clinic she works with parents and children in distress; she listens and hears the concerns at the core of their story; and actively works to reduce barriers. A long time colleague of Peg’s, confirms ‘she never leaves families feeling that she has not truly heard their story.’  This deeper understanding of the needs of children and their families ensures the Clinic’s practices and policies are welcoming, respectful and client-friendly.  She reminds us all that children can’t be fully present if they are hungry, feel unsafe, and don’t have their basic needs met.”

Together with other Wilder clinicians Peg has spearheaded and supported Wilder’s children’s mental health programs becoming more focused on trauma interventions, as well as expanding their repertoire of treatment modalities to include more holistic treatments. Peg has played a leading role in addressing issues that impact all families dealing with children’s mental health issues. She has served at the local level as a part of the Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative. Peg is very involved in collaborating with other community mental health providers, insurance providers and DHS to educate them about children’s mental health.

During her time as the Interim Children & Family Services Division Director in 2010, she pioneered the efforts to increase access and decrease barriers for children in need of psychiatric services in Ramsey County. Together with the medical team and the care coordinator, Peg continues to work on the challenges of: establishing referral networks with Primary Care Physicians and Clinics; identifying and joining statewide efforts to increase primary care physicians’ knowledge of children’s mental health needs and treatment; and refining the Direct Access model to allow for increasing volume of new patients.

The most recent example of leadership and support Peg provided through her oversight of the staff that developed and implemented the Hlub Zoo program (pronounced “Loo Zhong”), which means “grow well, love well”. Peg often speaks about the culturally responsive and honoring elements of Hlub Zoo and she distinguishes how the model engages Hmong children and families in a healing process and builds resiliency.

Peg’s supervisor calls her a phenomenal asset to the Wilder organization and the Children’s Mental Health community. Peg diligently champions responsive and innovative approaches to serving children and families who need mental health services.

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