Highlights of Hope
Since our inception, the Well program has been reaching out to the Orange County community to work toward our goal of emotional and social well-being for children and teens. Here at the Prevention Center, we have been raising awareness of our programs and getting directly involved with families in Orange County. Below is a collection of true stories in which our program has made a tremendous and positive impact on the lives of those in need.
Learning to Cope in Times of Tragedy
A hospice nurse reached out to the Well Team to connect a family she had been working with to our programs. The family of first-generation immigrants experienced tragedy when they lost their mother and wife to cancer. The boys, ages 13, 16 and 23, each struggled with their grief in different ways. The youngest son, Alfonso, was dealing with a lot of anger, and the middle son Mario, had to change schools for repeatedly getting into fist fights. The older son, Juilo struggled to find employment, and as a result, felt a lack of direction and focus. Our Well Program Specialist provided the family with structured intervention to listen to the family’s concerns and asses their needs and strengths. Through this intervention, the grieving family shared their memories of their mother, and expressed the love and loss they still felt for her. The Well Program Specialist helped each child recognize the different stages of grief they experienced, and then linked each of them to additional supportive services to help them cope with the tragedy of losing their mother.
A Healing of Invisible Wounds
Janet, a single mother of three young girls, called one of our Well Program Specialists asking for counseling services for her daughter. Janet reported that her child recently revealed a history of sexual abuse, but refused to attend counseling services. With the assistance of the Well Program Outreach Specialist and Educator, the daughter started to understand how counseling could be beneficial to her healing process. The daughter bravely decided to take the first step in her journey in healing the emotional wounds that were inflicted upon her. Janet was also experiencing high levels of stress due to the fact she was just laid off so close to the Christmas season. To minimize her anxiety, our Well-Program Specialist obtained gift donations for the children just in time for Christmas. Janet and her three daughters were moved to tears when we presented them with their gifts for Christmas.
Building from Broken Pieces
After having her child removed from her home, Kayla, a recently divorced mother was referred to our Well-Program from the local police department. Our Well-Program Specialist met with Kayla to provide support and legal resources. Kayla received lessons and educational material on anger and stress management. By educating the mother on emotional issues, such as the anxiety caused by her divorce, she was able to develop coping mechanisms. These lessons helped the mother understand the different signs of child abuse. With the support from our Well Program, Kayla was able to complete mediation with the father in court with a clear and focused mind. Kayla received full custody of her daughter. She is now establishing a healthy environment in which her daughter can flourish because of her mother’s love and support.
Mending the Empty Space
In March a mother living in San Clemente called the Well-Program Infoline and spoke with on of our specialists, Rebecca, about her concerns for her 7 year-old daughter. Unlike her former confident little girl, she was having extreme panic and separation anxiety whenever mom tried to go anywhere. The big trigger for the change was not knowing when her father would come home from his long extended overseas work, causing fear and anxiety of losing both parents for the daughter. Rebecca was able to provide techniques that would help at home, as well as counseling for the daughter to give her a safe place to express her feelings. With Rebecca’s encouraging support, the mother was able to connect with a great therapist in her area and help her daughter and family tremendously.
Reaching Out to the Silent Cries for Help
A call was received by the Well Program from a mom who was referred by her daughter’s school. The mother was concerned about her teenage daughter’s possible drug abuse and depression. The Well Program was able to refer the mom to a counselor to assist with her concerns. “Well” followed up with several home visitations after they found the daughter had been unwilling. On the first visit, the Program Educator spoke with the mother and daughter about mental health and substance abuse to the developing brain. The daughter soon opened up to the Educator about her poor choices with peer pressure which was causing trouble in school. After a talk about moving forward to a positive direction, she agreed that she would be willing to see a counselor. In subsequent visits, the Educator was able to talk with the mother and other two teenage daughters to provide additional resources. The mother has been in contact with the counselor and the family seems in a better place. They are coping with the challenges and appreciate the supportive visits from Well.