Every child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her highest potential. To learn more about our impact, read these stories based on real lives of the over 3,000 children and their caregivers that the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut helps every year.
*Identifying information and photos have been changed to maintain the privacy of our clients.
Ian*, age 12, was in therapy at CGC when he also began struggling with his adoptive single mother’s illness. Ian’s mother joined one of our virtual support groups from her hospital bed as she first battled cancer and then COVID. When mom died from the virus, Ian’s therapist stayed connected with him as he underwent several simultaneous transitions. Ian’s therapist remained seeing Ian until he and his uncle were settled with ongoing care in his new home across the country.
Four year old Ana* was distressed and referred to CGC. Ana received telehealth services from a CGC therapist while simultaneously receiving often painful medication treatments for cancer while at home.
Adam*, a 17 year old immigrant was referred to CGC because he was struggling with depression, self-harm, and substance use. Adam was trapped in the US – separated from extended family and friends when the borders of his home country closed due to COVID.
Tai*, a 15 year old old transgender teen who was so distressed by the sight of his own face and the sound of his voice that he could not turn his camera on or speak in therapy or at remote school. He was isolated, severely depressed, anxious, and failing.
At age 7, Lily*, was referred to the Child Advocacy Center at CGC. Lily was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend, whose rape left her with a sexually transmitted disease.
Maria*, a 14 year old, planned to kill herself and her 2 month old infant daughter until CGC’s Mobile Crisis clinicians arrived at her home. Maria came to this country alone, becoming pregnant after she was sexually assaulted when crossing the border. Overwhelmed and afraid, she could not imagine any other way to end her pain than to end her and her child’s lives.
One day, at age 15, Corina* started her day getting dressed and as usual, was excited to be attending a family celebration. This excitement quickly led to fear, tears and trauma. At the event, Corina was sexually abused. Never having experienced this before, she felt ashamed and kept it a secret for two days before telling her mother. She immediately started became very anxious, avoided school and refused to leave her house. Within a week, she was in treatment at CGC to help her deal with the abuse she experienced along with the loss of her father that she had been coping with since she was a baby.
Tyrone*, a 17 year old with ADHD and a very high IQ from a family where multiple generations struggled with alcohol addiction. Tyrone referred himself to the Child Guidance Center after hearing about it from a friend who was receiving treatment at CGC. Tyrone had recently become involved with using marijuana, pills and alcohol. Major depression set in which made him lose all of his motivation for school.
At age 16, Valerie* requested to return to CGC to enter therapy for a third time as she felt an increase in her panic attacks. Valerie suffered from severe depression and anxiety due to continued sexual abuse by a close relative. Upon returning to CGC, she expressed thoughts of suicidal ideation.
At age 15, Luz* came to CGC full of anger and rage. She was ALWAYS angry and constantly yelling and swearing at her parents and teachers and getting in trouble for her behavior. Luz’s parents brought her to CGC because they were worried about her and her harsh reactions to those around her.
At age 16, Sanjay* of Indian descent, felt like a stranger in his own community. Living in one community, but feeling like he belonged in another was quite confusing for Sanjay and hard for him to reconcile and come to terms with it. Sanjay entered therapy at CGC which helped him to focus on understanding how economic and racial inequalities are linked to an individual’s wellbeing, identity and mental health.
To the outside world Ben* seemed to have everything going for him. He was a high school senior, an honors student, and was making plans to go to college. He was also planning to end his life.
At five years old, Clinton* was referred to the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut by the Department of Child and Family Services. His foster parents were concerned about his aggressive behavior, problems getting along with his foster siblings, inappropriate touching, and clinginess.
At 12 years old, Casey* was referred to CGC’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Services program after her sister found video recordings on her laptop titled, “My 13 Reasons Why,” which disclosed reasons she intended to kill herself.
At ten years old, Elijah* was referred to the Child Guidance Center because he was aggressive and ran away from his father and school staff when they tried to get him to attend class. Although Elijah was initially seen in the Child and Family Therapy Program, frequent calls to 211 led to his being treated through the Mobile Crisis Intervention Services program.
At 15 years old, Yvette* was referred to CGC by her counselor because she had reported cutting herself. Her parents were also concerned because they noticed a significant drop in her weight in a very short period of time, and she had become much less social.
At 4 years old, Emma* was referred to the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut’s (CGC) Child Advocacy Center due to reports of physical abuse.
Abby,* 12 years old, was referred to CGC’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Services program after a friend informed the school counselor that Abby confessed to cutting herself and having suicidal thoughts. While she was living in a single parent home with her father, she felt completely alone. Struggling with her sexual identity, she felt rejected by her peers and didn’t know how to talk to her father about her issues.
At six years old, he was referred to CGC by his mother, Gina.* While seen as polite and friendly at school, Manny’s* behavior was completely different at home. Whenever she disagreed with Manny or attempted to discipline him, he would become violent toward her or would threaten to harm himself.
At three years old, Brandon* was referred to the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut (CGC) by his preschool teacher because he was hitting other children and acting aggressively. After being expelled from preschool, his mother Tanya* tried to manage Brandon’s behaviors so a new school would accept him.
Sara*, 15 years old, was referred to the Child Guidance Center (CGC) by a school counselor after she disclosed that she was cutting herself and thinking about suicide. CGC’s Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services team provided immediate crisis intervention.
Paula,* four years old, was referred to CGC by her preschool teacher. She was exhibiting aggressive and cruel behavior. Her teacher became increasingly worried about Paula’s and her classmates’ safety. Paula struggled developmentally and socially. She often appeared distracted and confused.
A 17 year old high school senior, Richard* had experienced abuse and neglect inflicted by his father and stepmother most of his life. His parents would often punish him by not feeding him, kicking him out of the house, and would encourage him to miss school so that he could pick up extra shifts at his job.
At four years old, Jacob* was a very emotional child. He would often throw temper tantrums and never got along with his baby sister or older brother. As the middle child, he felt left out and would never listen to his mother. Jacob had a difficult time adjusting to structure in his pre-K class, and would have many outbursts throughout the day, threatening teachers and other students.
Preparing for her Quincenera (15th birthday party) should have been the happiest time of her life, but she was living with a terrible secret.
At 4 years old, Sammy* should have been talking, playing, and demonstrating a close bond with his mother. But he wasn’t. The police contacted the Child Guidance Center to express concern about Sammy after they responded to a domestic abuse call at his house. Although Sammy hadn’t been abused, something definitely seemed wrong.
Jenna* is six years-old. Since infancy she has witnessed extensive domestic violence. Her stepfather was physically abusive toward her mother and emotionally abusive to Jenna. Due to Jenna’s unstable home life, she was often sad and frequently contemplated self-harm. Eventually she was referred to CGC.