This week I enjoyed one of my favorite parts of my job: celebrating with my clients. As I walked with Reyna* to get the first ice cream of summer break and she recounted the details of her recent middle school graduation, I was struck yet again by her radiating joy as bright as her yellow sweater. We pointed out every dog we saw, made jokes, shared favorite stories, and she talked about her dreams for the future. Her voice was chipper as she thanked the cashier and as she asked me if we could eat our ice cream in the park.
Tag: Mental health
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) has designated four major “dimensions that support a life in recovery”, including health, home, community and purpose. At the Family Care Network, we believe empowerment and choice are at the heart of the Recovery movement and we strive to provide the children, families, and youth in our care with the support they need, in each of these areas, so they can work towards recovery and independence. In this week's blog, titled "Lessons in Recovery: The Truths We Learn Through Hope" FCNI Social Worker Brooke Cone shares her connection to the Recovery Model and breaks down the lessons she has learned supporting a loved one in Recovery.
Rosa entered college undocumented and transitioning from foster care. These two life experiences meant that she faced more obstacles than almost all of her freshmen peers. The only thing that was for certain for Rosa, was that nothing was certain. She had dreams--big dreams--but she wasn’t fully sure if they would be attainable. All she really knew was that she had the drive and the determination to do her part to achieve her goals; all she needed was a little support to go the full distance.
Gratitude can come from suffering, hope from devastation, and intentionality from chaos.
Right now, I am trying really hard to remain on my platform. My tolerance is gone. I am tired, achy, cold and it is taking all my might not to scream. Why all of this frustration, you might ask? After all, I am a FCNI shelter social worker. It's my job--my passion, my calling--to work with children entering Emergency Shelter Care. So why am I so frustrated and exhausted standing here outside of a foster home at 1:30 in the morning?
Imagine being rudderless on a rough sea. Imagine rock climbing with no safety harness. Imagine boxing with no gloves. Imagine scuba diving with an empty tank. Imagine a house without a foundation. Now, imagine being a teenager...with no family.
I’ll go ahead and admit it. Wraparound is my favorite program of FCNI’s. I just love it. I love that it is truly a collaborative effort that involves a lot of different agencies--the Department of Social Services, FCNI, Behavioral Health, schools, probation, as well as individuals who are hand-selected by families to be part of their support team.
At 17, Sabrina’s fears about her future increased each day she got closer to turning 18. As a foster youth, Sabrina didn’t have a family to support her or to live with following her emancipation from foster care at 18. And unfortunately, she couldn’t remain with her current foster parents because her mental health struggles had taken too much of a toil on their relationship.
While sitting in the theater waiting for David Sedaris to take the stage at a recent storytelling event, my friend, who was sitting next to me, was scrolling through her Facebook feed. She tipped the screen towards me to share a precious entry a mom had posted about her five year old daughter’s new playtime activity. Her sweet, adorable girl was pictured “playing office’; with a keyboard, thick books stacked around her, and hair ties available for those heavy moments of concentration.
I was catching up with a friend one day, and as we talked he explained how things were pretty rough for him at the moment. At some point, he made the observation that he didn’t know how to approach some of his internal struggles because he didn’t know how to define what were mental health issues and what was related to mental illness. Basically, he was confused about how to talk about mental health because he didn’t know where mental illness fit in.