Dear North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center Community,

by | Dec 1, 2020 | Blog

Olivia’s first visit to the E.R. for self-harm and suicidal thoughts came last fall, when she was just 14 years old. But instead of admitting her, the hospital referred her to North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center.  

We saw her the very next day — an unheard of rapid response at most mental health centers, which often take weeks or even months to schedule appointments. 

Olivia thrived in our Latina Girls Project, an innovative bilingual and bicultural therapeutic program that addresses the unique challenges affecting Latinas and transforms these vulnerable girls into happy, healthy young women. 

Then COVID-19 hit. Olivia’s mother contracted the virus, and the teen watched helplessly as her mother battled the disease for two months. 

When Olivia missed her virtual appointments, her therapist Anna asked Olivia to attend an in-person appointment. Anna realized immediately that the girl had lost weight and desperately needed help. Anna began seeing Olivia and her family for therapy three times a week remotely and connected them with an eating disorder specialist. At the Guidance Center, we treat the whole child, not just their symptoms. 

Thankfully, Olivia’s mother is now well, and so is Olivia. She told Anna, “I can’t believe I ever thought I wanted to kill myself. I feel so much better!” 

This story could have had a very different ending, but thanks to you, we are able to bring children from hurting to healing every day — which is especially important as the pandemic continues to threaten the mental health of our kids. Please consider making a gift this holiday season to ensure that children like Olivia can live happy and healthy lives.  With gratitude,
Paul Vitale,

P.S. The future of our children is in your hands. Please support our lifesaving mission today.
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