Amelia* was a 14-year-old high achiever who found herself expelled from school after getting intoxicated at school and causing quite the commotion. She came to the Alternative Learning Centers (ALC) with a studious presentation, as well as a bubbly personality and an “I’m fine” facade. It took time to build trust and rapport with Amelia, but over about a month’s time Eckerd Connects’ Prevention specialist was able to gain a level of initial trust and Amelia asked to meet for weekly sessions.
Amelia needed a safe non-judgmental space where she could talk, rant, and vent what was inside her head. She also needed someone who would not just listen to her, but someone who would also have hard conversations with her, confront her, and help her find a way, to be honest with herself. She was reacting, acting out, and using substances to deal with how she was feeling inside- where she felt out of control, confused, and stressed. Amelia and the Prevention Specialist met weekly and discussed topics such as stress, coping skills, anger management, and self-care. When her time had finished at ALC she was able to move on not using substances or cutting to cope and broaden her coping strategies as well. She was able to begin to realize that when she became stressed, and let that stress go without being dealt with, she would start to unravel and seek out unhealthy coping.
Amelia will be going into her senior year of high school this coming year and wants to join the military and do medical training. She has had no further disciplinary action in school, takes almost all advanced classes, attends church regularly, participates in ROTC, works a job, and spends time with friends and her family. She still is working on herself and maintaining balance to her life, but she now has the tools she needs to help herself when she feels like things are getting “out of control”. She really had the drive and motivation to feel better and do better, and she worked hard to get herself where she is today!
*Name has been changed to protected identity