When Anna, then 16, first came to our counseling program, she was newly released from the hospital. Her arms were marked with small, self-inflicted scars, carefully hidden beneath long sleeves.
In therapy at FCS, Anna spoke about the strain of her parents’ prolonged, hostile divorce and the stresses of being a teen in Silicon Valley. She had turned to cutting as a means to cope. In the hospital, she learned she was living with severe depression.
After Anna revealed that she used to find joy in drawing and painting, her therapist made sure paints, pencils, and paper were available at every session. They made art as they talked through painful topics and began to create a path forward toward wellness.
Her therapist invited Anna to pick up a paintbrush the next time she felt the impulse to harm herself with a blade. Pulling the brush over her scars, Anna’s eyes welled. She saw how hard she had been working, for too long, to hide her anger and grief from her parents, friends, even herself.
Session by session, thanks to long-term care our donors’ generosity made possible, the fog of depression lifted. Anna gained confidence. She learned healthier ways to manage stress—and never again required hospitalization. With the support of her therapist, she shared with her parents how their actions were affecting her.
Last June, she graduated from high school with her class, excited about plans for college and her growing collection of artwork.
Resilience is possible with compassion and quality care.
Twenty percent of 13- to 18-year-olds in the US have or will have a serious mental illness. With the help of our compassionate and generous donors, we reach teens with the professional care and support they need to heal and to learn to manage their conditions, before their dreams are derailed and they lose hope for their futures.
Expert care is possible thanks to the compassionate investment of our community.