Mental health in today’s world is not always treated truthfully. Like most things, everybody wants a quick and comfortable fix. Dedication and hard work have become ugly and uncomfortable. Medications are quickly prescribed, and can be critical in helping, but cannot become an excuse for behavioral accountability.
Our son Gabriel has autism, ADHD, severe anxiety disorder, and depression that can trigger anger and outbursts of frustration. Even PRIOR to the pandemic he spent months trapped in fear of leaving our home, often not even leaving his bedroom. My husband and I and continually searched for help. Outpatient and inpatient treatments became overwhelming; often with zero results and negative setbacks. Our son was bullied, threatened with sexual assault, and even had his life threatened during these treatments. My husband and I became more and more discouraged and feared for his future.
Through the grace of God a dear friend recommend the STRONG Child & Adolescent Day Treatment program, promising their approach to mental and physical disabilities was different. Their Christian foundation would not only teach and help our child, but would provide help and healing for our entire family.
My first phone call was to Ms. Deborah [STRONG office manager]. Her optimistic and caring voice washed over me like the voice of an angel. She did not ask what insurance I carried, but simply how she could help me.
Dr. Ashley, Ms. Feasha, and Mr. Alex were brutally honest and said the healing process would not be easy. It would become more difficult before it got better. We would need to change our approach as parents and Gabriel would need to accept his differences and take responsibility for his actions. As scary as it sounded, I felt a sense of HOPE for the first time.
Over the next year we faced a lot of hard work as a family. We learned to accept our son’s disabilities and his struggles with love and compassion. We took honest responsibility for parenting him in the way he needed us to. Gabriel began to take responsibility for his challenges and to love himself for being different. His coping skills filled him with confidence. He learned about Jesus Christ who first loved him unconditionally.
My husband and I found healing in a marriage we didn’t even realize was in such jeopardy. The stress had taken a toll on us. We were in survival mode and didn’t even know it. The help and hope we found five days a week was nothing less than a gift from heaven.
At Gabriel’s STRONG graduation, he wasn’t just congratulated and sent on his way, but accepted into the STRONG FAMILY. There is no other program in existence today that does this. Their love and support continues with extended counseling through Christian Family Solutions. They are always willing to take a phone call, answer an email, or find us additional services to keep our family STRONG and on the path for success.
How do our donors help? Our donors help bridge the gap between the costs of providing day treatment and the insurance reimbursement rates. We are able to continue offering STRONG – and expand to meet the growing needs – because of our generous donors.