Acute Care

A Mother’s Story

“To be honest, I did not think I could get through it.”

Jennifer has friends with children who have benefited from the Brien Center’s services, so when she found herself desperate for help with her own daughter’s psychiatric crisis, she knew where to turn.

“I have a beautiful 13-year-old daughter who has thrown some pretty tough challenges at me since she was about six or seven years old,” Jennifer explains. “To be honest, I did not think I could get through it. My daughter suffers from some mental illness and behavioral issues. These issues did not just happen overnight. They started when she was very young.”

It began as isolated incidents of Jennifer’s daughter acting out physically against her younger siblings. As the girl grew up, the behavior problems grew exponentially with each passing year. By 12 years of age, she was not only physically harming Jennifer’s other children repeatedly and losing time at school, but she started spreading dangerous rumors that could have snowballed out of control. The situation progressed to the point that her daughter was admitted to the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit of Providence Behavioral Health Hospital for 10 days. It was only when Jennifer and her daughter were connected to a Family Partner at the Brien Center for intensive care coordination that her daughter and she made real progress.

“If I was not given the Family Partner that I was, and she did not come into my home to help me and my daughter when she did, I don’t know if my daughter would be home today or that we would be a complete family. [The Family Partner] brought out things in me that I did not know I had in me, helping me be a better mother, have patience, and understand that my daughter’s problems are not my fault nor her fault. She just needs love, consistency, reassurances, and structure. I am proud to be a Brien Center success story, because they have helped me keep our daughter at home. If they can help us, they can help anyone.”

When people suffer from mental health and addiction disorders, evidence shows that community-based treatment and services can improve outcomes for people of all ages, and that they are effective in preventing or reducing out-of-home placements. The Brien Center’s Community Services focus on the power of the larger community to positively impact a person’s care, growth and recovery.