Content warning: Challenging family situation, homelessness, depression
Allison is a pre-teen living with her mother and two older brothers. Her mother is disabled and her father has recently moved away. With her father out of the picture and her mother unable to work a full-time job due to her disability, the family has recently lost their home and had to move in with another relative. Losing the family home was difficult on Allison, who began experiencing symptoms of depression and had trouble managing her anger over the situation. At school, she shared with a teacher that she had interest in seeking therapy. She hoped to address her emotions around her family’s homelessness and frustration with her mother’s inability to financially support them.
Once Allison began seeing a counselor at The Bridge, they worked together to address her symptoms of depression and identify how her thoughts were impacting her emotions and behaviors. They worked on techniques for her to express her emotions in a healthy manner. With encouragement from The Bridge counselor, Allison and her mother began to spend more quality time together. They focused on improving their communication and increasing their comfort level through small actions and gradual steps.
As the family’s case manager, Allison’s counselor also connected the family with additional social services in the community. At The Bridge, we often see that many different factors cause stress on the individuals and families we see. When someone’s basic needs (food, shelter, safety) aren’t being met, they can’t spend the necessary energy on improving their mental health. Therefore, The Bridge takes a holistic approach to mental health care–taking the whole person and situation into account.
Today, Allison’s family situation is more stabilized because their essential needs are being met with more consistency. Using the techniques she learned at The Bridge, her relationship with her mother continues to get stronger and she feels more ready to cope with stress and vocalize emotions that may arise during potentially overwhelming situations.
The client stories shared on our blog are based on real scenarios, but names and identifying details have been changed or removed.