Impact Stories: Natalie replaces negative choices with positive ones
Natalie had a traumatic childhood. Raised by parents unable to meet her needs, in an environment with constant conflict, Natalie was placed into the foster care system.
When she was 14 years old, Natalie’s foster family began noticing unhealthy behaviors such as poor choices with relationships, anger outbursts and substance use. She had suicidal symptoms, exhibited self-harm, and had a plan for suicide. Natalie felt hopeless.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among those ages 10-24. When teens do not get appropriate mental health care, they are at a higher risk of school failure, depleting healthy coping skills, suicidal thinking and urges, co-dependent relationships, decline in daily functioning, and significant conflict with parents or caregivers.
Fortunately for Natalie, her foster parents were aware of her unhealthy behaviors and reached out for professional help.
Natalie’s treatment options
Mental health professionals recommended Natalie participate in a residential care program for substance use. This program was her turning point to healing and hope. When Natalie was discharged, her team of caregivers suggested a step-down approach and referred her to Christian Family Solutions ARMOR Day Treatment for Teens, a program that would support the treatment she received and help her translate her new skills into her home environment. The step-down approach provides an appropriate level of care to prevent clients from regressing into patterns of unhealthy behaviors.
Natalie’s Progress at CFS
When I first started coming here, I really didn’t see the benefits,” Natalie says, remembering her initial weeks in the ARMOR program. “Then, when I opened myself up to the process and tried to get something out of it, I realized you guys are here to help me and I totally grew! But it’s hard to do at first!”
During her time in ARMOR, Natalie increased her involvement in school by attending most classes and by joining an extracurricular sport. Participating in ARMOR gave her daily support and reminded her to use her coping skills and healthy communication skills. The ARMOR therapy team provided her with daily accountability.
Natalie was able to replace negative behaviors with positive ones.
How do our donors make this possible? For higher level of care programs like Natalie’s, there are start-up costs such as recruiting and hiring qualified Christian clinicians, and training our team to deliver evidence-based care that is properly integrated with Christian principles. Generous donors help make this quality distinctly Christian care accessible to more people.
We are grateful for our donors who help make the CFS approach of distinctly Christian care accessible to more people.
(This client’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.)