Meet Michael – Cavecloth Cares Edition 2

This is a photo of Dr. Michael Flowers. He is wearing a blue shirt, glasses, and has a beard.

Dr. Flowers, Director of Clinical Services at Youth Bridge, lives in Fayetteville with his wife, Lara, two children, one affectionate pup and a rather major passion for helping children and families. 

So. Go ahead. Snicker.

No really. I’ll wait. I deserve it.

After all, I opened up the floor for open auditions for snickering, finger-pointing, judgemental eye-rolling and any other numerous public shaming tactics, by talking a big blogging game months (… sigh… that’s so tough to type… “months”… insert large-eyed emoji here…) ago, and then initiating radio silence.

Follow-through…hmm. Just as a general question, how long does one have to be adulting before this seemingly illusive skill is learned? I mean, will it just manifest itself at some point? Like when I was 19 and suddenly preferred strong coffee over orange juice in the morning? Because I’ve kinda been an “adult” for a while now. And, there’s little of that learned behavior happening. Clearly, I need more in-depth tutoring in this field. But then… when one DOES follow through, one runs the annoying risk of having to ALSO be accountable, as people, for whatever reason, now EXPECT said person with aforementioned follow-through to CONTINUE to, you know… follow through. Dumb.

So. Many. Questions. While I’ll attempt to sort it all out, I’ll spare you my own personal agony, and instead, throw some more Cavecloth Cares love in your lap! (Yes! Cleverly change the subject and bait the reader with a far more interesting subject than my own bizarre inadequacies. I’m sure this tactic is like number 3 on the Top 10 “How to Blog” checklist.)

And here’s a quick reminder of what this Cavecloth Cares segment is all about: We go around Fayetteville, finding the faces of neighbors who are working tirelessly and often thanklessly to improve the lives of others and the community in which we live. We’ll snap a quick pic, ask them a few questions, and offer you a little look into what they’re doing to help make Fayetteville a fantastic place to live. We’ll post it all up on our blog (ta-da!!) in the hopes to drive awareness of just how powerful the efforts of a single NWA neighbor can be. Not to mention, we think they just plain-ol’ deserve some awesome praise.

So, here it is folks. The SECOND (boom… it’s like a thing now…) edition of Cavecloth Cares: “Featuring the best threads that make up the cloth of NWA.”

Cavecloth Cares Vol. 1 Ed. 2
November 2016

Name: Michael Flowers, Ph.D, LPC
Title: Director of Clinical Services, Youth Bridge, 2012 to present

In a nutshell, what do you do, Michael?
“Youth Bridge is a nonprofit, community-based behavioral health provider specializing in counseling and substance abuse services for children and adolescents while partnering with regional schools, foster care, and juvenile courts in our service areas. I oversee all mental health/clinical programs for Youth Bridge from Fayetteville to Mountain Home. We have programs in outpatient, school-based (with summer and after-school programs), and residential treatment facilities.”

Wow. That’s a major undertaking. And what an incredible opportunity to impact so many lives in NWA and beyond. Aside from what you do, what do you love about what you do?
“I love that Youth Bridge is a great resource for our community, schools, and other key stakeholders. Our job is to listen to the community’s needs for treatment of substance abuse and mental health issues whether that is in schools, homes, or residential programs. I am extremely grateful for all of our Youth Bridge teammates, and I am honored to work with a high quality group of people who share the passion to help others. Also, I love that we can partner to serve our most important population, children and families in need. I am energized and feel most successful when a school reaches out to Youth Bridge for help regarding a school or child crisis, and we can respond to keep children safe. I enjoy providing training for our community partners to help them navigate the resources needed to help children. I am hopeful we can all work together with the same goal in mind, to improve the quality of our children’s lives by offering the best care and services we can. As a parent, and long time mental health professional, I am acutely aware of the needs children and families face. I am driven to provide consistency, quality, and professional services for our clients.” 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
“I am blessed with a wonderful and supportive wife who encourages and allows me to give a great amount of energy to the mission of Youth Bridge – to serve at-risk youth and their families. I want to honor her by making a positive impact on as many people as possible.”

What about your work helps you sleep at night?
“I am enthusiastically driven and resourceful, characteristic which can be exhausting, because, unfortunately, our work is never done.”

What is one thing about Fayetteville that inspires you to give back?
“I am invested in the community from Fayetteville’s at-risk families to our great schools. I have a personal investment because my children attend Fayetteville schools, and I am acutely aware of the immense challenges involved in providing treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and addictions in our community.”

What is one thing you’d like people to know about Youth Bridge that they may not already understand?
“We have provided services in nine counties throughout northern Arkansas for over 50 years.”

Youth Bridge is the only clinically and behaviorally focused organization in Northwest Arkansas that deals exclusively with youth and their families. Youth Bridge offers counseling and other support services with children and families in both residential and outpatient environments; offers multi-disciplinary professional teams for better results, and maintains a collaborative approach with other agencies. Youth Bridge does not turn away those who need help because of a payment issue. Youth Bridge encourages the community to join forces and participate through the many opportunities with advocacy, volunteerism and fundraising.

Thanks for all you do, Michael! Cavecloth cares about you!

by Cavecloth