SARATOGA SPRINGS — After a traumatic experience navigating her son’s medical diagnosis, local mom Christine Hernandez identified a lack of access to mental health support services for children and families. “All I wanted to do was find my son the support he needed, and what I found over and over again was long waitlists or unaffordable fees. The lack of truly accessible mental health support for children and families (and people in general) is pretty staggering,” Hernandez explained.
Allo Saratoga will function as a playspace and community space and host support groups, workshops, and classes for children and parents at any stage. “Whether you’re trying to conceive or your kids are grown with kids of their own, we want Allo to be a place where you can find your people,” Hernandez explained of the space, located off Church Street in Saratoga Springs slated to open Mid-November of 2021.”
After a career in early childhood and working with birthing families as a doula, creating a space for families to come together to play, learn and find nonjudgmental support was always the plan for Hernandez. “Covid really gave me the motivation to make this dream a reality because parents are burned-out and craving connection. We all need a safe space to learn how to cope and move forward from the last year and a half.”
“We plan to adapt to meet the needs of the community as far as what workshops and classes we offer- but it’s critical that what we offer is accessible to anyone who needs it,” said Hernandez. Allo plans to offer a number of its mental health-focused support groups and services for free, drawing on funds from the playspace and paid programs to help offset the costs.
The whole family has been in on preparing the space, from toy-testing to helping with paint colors. You can follow along with their progress on Allo’s instagram @allosaratoga and sign up to receive updates on their website www.allotoga.com