Courage of Living

                Raven felt alone as she struggled with depression and anxiety, causing her to resort to cutting herself and substance abuse. At 17 years old, Raven struggled with self-esteem and trust among her family, which lead to attempting to take her life.

                It wasn’t until Raven attempted suicide that her mom was introduced to Highfields’ Families Together Building Solutions program through DHHS, and counselor Julie. Julie helped her overcome the negative feelings she was having towards herself, as well as help her mom with developing a safety plan.

                Raven has learned how to express her emotions and personal traumas. She has overcome many mental barriers in order to build better relationships with her family.

                “I learned how to communicate my feelings and ask for help,” said Raven.

                After working with Highfields, Raven now has the courage to be herself. She has created jars with inspirational thoughts as a reminder to love herself. With a new focus empowering herself through arts and crafts, Raven has now found creative ways to cope with emotions.

                Along her journey, Raven found creating a bullet journal, which is part daily planner, diary and written meditation, to be both helpful and inspiring. She uses the journal to help with online classes like U.S. Government and Financial Math, keeping her on track for the school year. She also uses it as inspiration for her art projects and an outlet for managing daily stress.

                Through her growth, she also had a chance to visit Sierra Rose Farms for Healing Hearts with Horses, which is a specialized program for youth and their mental health. Raven participated in both group and individualized therapy, where she learned to work through obstacles and ask for help when she needed it.

               Over the past few months, Raven has found the strength within herself to keep going. She’s overcome feelings of hopelessness and began to value her life. Not only has she set goals for the future, she can now be independent without her mom fearing the worst.

                “Raven is a smart, caring and courageous teenager,” said Julie. “She has a bright future!”

                Raven continues taking online classes for school so she can graduate and attend a community college to be a veterinarian. She hopes to share her experience with others, reminding them that they are not alone.

                “Highfields helped me develop coping skills and build self-esteem,” said Raven. “I learned how to put my best foot forward and have an open mind to how amazing life is.”

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