Amelia discovers the value of a trusted therapist and positive role models on the road to recovery
Amelia was fourteen years old when she came to a startling realization: Typical 6th, 7th, and 8th graders don’t constantly think about ending their lives.
Amelia’s depression had started in 6th grade and by the middle of her 8th grade year she had started self-harming. In her own words, that was the year she had finally met someone “like herself” – someone battling severe depression and suicide ideation. The two seemed to bond over these shared emotional challenges. After a few months of interacting with each other daily at school, the girls came up with the idea of trying to overdose with eyedrops.
It was that event that became a turning point for Amelia. Thankfully the overdose was unsuccessful in causing the harm that was initially intended – and God gave Amelia a chance to find what true friendships, healing, and hope would mean for her.
Amelia lost contact with her new friend who had been a dangerous influence. Her parents became more aware of Amelia’s situation and got her help. Her true healing really began her freshman year at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School when Amelia became connected with Jessica Martinez, a school-based therapist in her first year working with Christian Family Solutions. Jessica had worked with elementary school children for many years, and found a calling to become a licensed mental health therapist at a time of great need in the field. It was the connection that changed Amelia’s life.
“I went to see Jessica while dealing with severe depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts,” Amelia stated. “Right when I met Jessica, we clicked, which really helped me progress throughout the year . . . I was really comfortable with Jessica right away and she taught me things I never knew I would have needed to be taught.”
Jessica helped Amelia with coping mechanisms and how to become more emotionally mature and responsible for herself. Jessica helped her realize the importance of surrounding herself with the right people who could have a positive influence on her thoughts and behaviors. Jessica also taught Amelia how to ask for help at critical moments.
Jessica stated, “I am so thankful that Amelia has been doing great on the road to recovery. So many times young people don’t know where to turn. They are hesitant to talk to their parents and often they suffer alone or find themselves influenced by the wrong people.”
The CFS School-based Counseling Partnership Program provides access to professional mental health services and support for staff, students and families within the comfort and convenience of the school setting. Currently, CFS works with 48 schools in the School-based Counseling Partnership Program and the Member Assistance Program, serving over 1200 students.
The first few sessions with a school-based counselor are provided at no cost to the student. This helps break the ice, build trust, and create buy-in for a healing plan. If additional sessions are needed, parents can consent to continued treatment using insurance benefits. Those initial sessions are critical, and they are made possible by our generous donors.
These programs allow young people like Amelia to find the treatment they need and ensure better outcomes in school and beyond. Amelia has stopped self-harming. She has built more positive relationships and has been able to open up to her parents. She can more freely express her feelings and ask for help when needed.
We are grateful to our partner schools and our donors who help make care accessible to more youth.
(This client’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.)