Former Resident Returns to Campus with Message of Hope

December 6, 2017

“You saved me 110 percent.”

A powerful statement from a strong young woman whose journey to healing from depression brought her to The Barry Robinson Center four years ago. And, the lasting impact of her experience brought her back to campus in early December to encourage teen girls in treatment now.

Arianna, who asked to use her first name only, reached out to the Center, offering to speak on campus as part of an assignment for a public speaking class at her community college.

“We had an assignment to talk about a place that helped make us who we are, and for me, that’s The Barry Robinson Center,” she explained. “The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to come back to visit and talk with current residents.”

When she arrived as a new resident, Arianna said she committed that the Center would be her “last stop” after staying in several other residential treatment centers where she did not find the help she needed.

“I didn’t feel like I was at a residential center; it felt like home and I felt safe,” she explained. “The staff is amazing. They’re close with each other, and they respect each other and the residents. And I really enjoyed the environment and the programs, especially the music program.”

She also recalled how much she appreciated the Center’s campus, comparing it to another facility that had no windows. “Here at Barry Robinson, you can go outside and you don’t feel disconnected from the world.”

Through the therapy and programming at the Center, Arianna said she learned to use tools such as journaling, drawing and speaking that continue to help her today.

The Center’s focus on the family also benefitted Arianna. She said the staff helped her mother understand more about Arianna’s diagnosis, and they now enjoy a very open and healthy relationship. In fact, her mother encouraged her and supported her decision to speak to current residents at the Center.

During her time with the residents, Arianna spoke frankly about her diagnosis, her experiences at the Center and her life after she was discharged and returned to high school. She encouraged the girls to make the most of their treatment program and to not be ashamed of mental health issues.

“I never see my time at Barry Robinson as negative,” she said. “I got the help I needed, and the staff motivated me to do better.”

Her personal experience also has motivated Arianna to pursue a degree in psychology.

“I want to be a psychologist,” she explained. “I’ve looked at the suicide rates among teenagers and the lack of communication about it, and I want to help kids who are struggling.”

Hearing from a successful former resident like Arianna helps the Center’s staff, too. In fact, Arianna was one of three former residents who contacted the Center in a single week, all sharing how well they’re doing and how much they appreciate the Center’s positive impact on their lives.

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