JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Golf lovers, you can put your skills to a good cause this weekend at The 7th annual Ken Amaro's Bowtie Classic golf tournament. The proceeds are going to the Northwest Behavioral Health Services (NWBH) who gives mental and behavioral health aid to the community.
One Jacksonville family has seen first hand how it's turned their kids' lives around.
If you could’ve seen 11-year-old Vanessa Robinson and 9-year-old Frederick Wilburn a few years ago, you would not believe your eyes as they sat painting together.
A few years ago, the two siblings couldn’t even sit in the same room as each other.
"It was terrible," said their great-grandmother Barbara Harris.
Harris says their interactions would always turn into rage.
"Constantly, everyday," Harris said. "The bickering, the arguing, the fighting."
Harris had raised 12 kids before them and realized this wasn’t normal sibling rivalry.
"He tore up three tablets, threw them at her," Harris said. "[He] threw a chair at her, he just snaps."
Harris says Vanessa’s temper would follow her to school.
"You could hear her screaming all over the building and throwing things, crawling under the table, they couldn’t control her," Harris said.
Harris says she believes the problems came from the lack of a stable home in their early lives.
"The court called me and the released the kids in my custody," Harris said.
More than anything, she didn’t want them to be labeled bad children.
"A lot of the kids that got these problems, a lot of them don’t make it," Harris said. "They’re good kids, its just their problems."
Problems Harris believes were due to their mental health, so she brought them to the NWBH.
"There’s like a world of difference," said Kimberlee Williams, who works with Vanessa and Frederick. NWBH staff says their play therapy, psychotherapy, and medication management seems to be working.
"Before you couldn’t get them to sit down and interact with each other calmly, and now they're working together," Williams said.
Harris says it taught her the importance of parents taking children’s mental health seriously.
“If they care about their kids and they love their kids, don’t push it under the table," Harris said. "Get them some help.”
The NWBH has helped over 10,000 children and adults, and is in need of funds to keep their programs going. They have about 20 more spots open for their golf tournament this weekend. For more information, click here.