Faces of Carson: Amy’s story

Almost immediately after giving birth to her daughter, Amy was visited by the Department of Children and Families and told that she was not fit to raise a child. This visit was a sobering moment for Amy, who had struggled with depression and drug addiction for years. Faced with the possibility of never seeing her daughter again, Amy decided that she needed to make a change in her mental health in order to be a better mother for her daughter— and at BHN, Amy was given that opportunity.

In the past four and a half years, Amy has taken part in several of BHN’s programs in order to better manage her mental health and substance use disorder. The Partial Hospitalization Program gave Amy an alternative to an inpatient hospital stay and set her on the path toward recovery from her substance abuse. Through the program, she took part in intensive group therapy; received access to medication services; and was given a treatment plan to help her continue in her addiction recovery after she left the program. Amy also received services from BHN’s Intensive Outpatient Program, which she says helped educate her about the connection between her mental health and substance abuse. In the Day Treatment program, Amy participated in a variety of therapy groups that taught her important skills such as self-care and emotional regulation.

Amy graduated from these programs about nine months ago, but continues to see a therapist and receive medication services from BHN. With the help of the different programs she took part in, Amy learned healthy ways to manage her depression and achieved sobriety. Amy, who has been in and out of therapy since she was 11, was stunned by the dramatic impact BHN had on her mental health.

“BHN worked with me, knowing I had a substance abuse issue,” Amy said. “A lot of places only deal with mental health or substance abuse, not both. Through my journey at BHN, I know now that I have to deal with both of them, and they helped me learn how to do that.”

With BHN’s assistance, Amy has been able to achieve balance in her life instead of having her actions controlled by her depression and drug use. In addition to helping her overcome her struggles with mental illness, BHN’s services have boosted Amy’s self-esteem and provided her with a strong support system that has helped her maintain her mental health. When she graduated from the Day Treatment program several months ago, the staff told her that she could come back if ever needed more help, but Amy hasn’t needed to. After struggling with her mental health for years, the skills and information that BHN offered her allowed her to gain control over her mental health— and gain custody of her daughter.

“BHN never gave up on me, and they’ve seen me at my lowest,” Amy said. “When they first met me, I was messed up on heavy drugs, had my daughter removed from my care, and facing suicidal ideation and other unsafe behavior. Where I’m at in life now is so much better—and a lot of it has to do to BHN, because I would have given up on myself otherwise.”

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