Your support makes an impact: Meet Chris

Your generosity and belief in recovery make a meaningful impact on the lives of children, teens and adults in our community each day. Chris is just one of the many lives you've touched with your support.

Meet Chris

Problems with substance use, an arrest, feelings of hopelessness and a serious suicide attempt… All before age 17.

On the surface, you would never suspect that Chris – a high school junior who earned good grades and was well-liked by classmates and teachers – was struggling with these problems. But below the surface, Chris was wrestling with feelings of desolation and despair that had grown out of control, far beyond what his family thought was typical teenage angst. By all appearances, his life seemed normal.

Chris is the face of mental health concerns – the face that looks just like yours, or someone you love.

Falling into a significant depression, Chris thought suicide was the only answer to relieve him of his pain. Fortunately, his attempt failed and he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for in-patient care. It was there that Chris was referred to MHA, a turning point in his recovery. A clinician specializing in crisis stabilization – help for children and teens who have been hospitalized and need intensive temporary support during a crisis – worked closely with Chris to ensure that his discharge would go smoothly and connected him with longer-term support and treatment resources.

Chris was not the only one helped by MHA. His mother, anxious about his return home and fearful of the possibility of another suicide attempt, received daily support by the same crisis stabilization professional who worked with Chris. Together, they carefully coordinated his discharge, developed safety plans for his transition home and discussed ways to feel more comfortable and confident about their future as a family.

Upon his return home, Chris no longer needed MHA’s crisis stabilization services and began working with our care coordination team, who provided in-home therapy to help him work on his personal recovery goals. A part-time job enhanced Chris’s feelings of pride and independence, and he discovered that his love for art became an unexpected source of comfort, strength and excitement. Supported by the MHA team and tools they equipped him with, Chris returned to school and was able to pass all of his classes despite his long absence.

Today, Chris is making plans to apply to college, where he hopes to pursue a degree in the arts. For the first time in years, Chris recognizes his strengths and feels confident and excited about his future.

Chris is just one of the more than 12,000 people MHA serves each year. With your commitment, we can ensure that our services are available to all those who want, need and rely on them. Please consider making a donation today. Your gift sends a message to the youngest and most vulnerable in our community: that you believe in them, their strength and their futures.

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