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Teen Rises from Depths of Depression with Boys Town’s Guidance

What could happen in a child’s life that would make hurting herself or even committing suicide seem like the only answers to her problems?

That question is even more perplexing when the child is a teenage girl with many talents, from being a star tennis player to excelling as an accomplished painter.

For Kristen, this was the reality she faced as she battled depression, struggled to get through high school and continually fought with her parents.

Kristen’s parents, Tony and Louise, loved their daughter and desperately wanted to find a way to help her. But navigating the mental health system isn’t always easy. It wasn’t until they turned to Boys Town South Florida and its Care Coordination Services program that they began to have hope for Kristen.

From the first time they met Samantha, their Boys Town Consultant, Tony and Louise felt at ease and confident that Kristen was in good hands. Samantha began meeting with  Kristen weekly and connected her with a therapist who helped her work through the negative, harmful emotions that were consuming her.

The therapy sessions helped Kristen immensely, especially at home, where things were calmer and more positive.  She also was able to return to her tennis team and start painting again, two passions that had fallen by the wayside because of her depression.

But Kristen was still struggling in school, so much so that her guidance counselor didn’t think she would graduate with her class.

Samantha worked tirelessly with Kristen’s family and the high school to try to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the teen. When progress was slower than expected,  Samantha set up a psychiatric evaluation for Kristen. The evaluation revealed that Kristen’s skill level was far below where it should be for her grade level.

This became the catalyst for accelerating the IEP, and soon Kristen was in smaller classes, receiving individual attention from her teachers. This new learning environment proved to be a key to academic success, and by the end of her senior year, Kristen had completed her coursework.

More importantly, her parents realized that the many other issues Kristen had been dealing with were dissipating. Professional help, combined with their daughter’s new-found self-confidence, were empowering her to work through the issues of depression and its harmful symptoms.

On graduation day, her family watched proudly as Kristen, smiling from ear to ear, walked across the stage to receive her diploma. It was a moment that, at one time, had never seemed possible.

Today, Kristen is attending art school to pursue a career in painting. Tony and Louise always knew their daughter had so much potential. They also know now that without Boys Town’s help, she would never have had the chance to realize her dreams.

Through her determination, her parents’ support and Samantha’s commitment, Kristen created her own masterpiece of hope and healing.

The stories provided about the children and families in our care are real. In some cases, names may be changed and details altered to protect their privacy and therapeutic interests.