As always, our shelters provide a safe respite to struggling children. We have implemented all of the best practices for reducing the risk of virus exposure for our staff and the kids. We are restricting visitors, conducting family sessions by telephone, putting children in private rooms, and keeping a safe 6’ of space between our staff and residents. Most importantly, we are teaching the children and their families coping skills, such as yoga, deep breathing, and art, music and aromatherapy that will help them become resilient throughout their lives, not just during this pandemic.
We continue to graduate children who have completed their program goals and want to share the story of Annalise (name changed for privacy) who just went home a few days ago.
Fourteen year old Annalise had been hospitalized three times since January, due to repeated suicide attempts. She experienced extreme depression and anxiety, which grew as concerns about the pandemic increased. Annalise’s parents were also under great stress due to loss of income and the cancer treatment her father was undergoing. While in the safety of the shelter, her parents were provided counseling and referrals for assistance to help them during this tough time. Annalise learned ways to stay calm and helped her family practice the newly acquired coping skills. Upon graduation from the shelter, she was sent off with “air high fives” and well wishes as her grateful parents took her into their arms after a 3-week absence from their lives. Annalise graduated with a new sense of confidence in her abilities to cope with whatever she has to face.