Mental Health Awareness Month
Nathan had been experiencing depression for several years when he became homeless at 16. Because of his intense pain and isolation, he rarely talked about what he was experiencing internally. He became prone to outbursts as a result of keeping everything bottled up. His parents believed he had anger issues and thought it would pass. They tried to take a firm stance in response, but because he was in so much pain Nathan felt punished and uncared for and started to run away regularly.
As he struggled to find relief from the weight of depression, he started to use drugs to numb himself. His parents were at a loss when he stopped attending school and started coming home under the influence. Not knowing what else to do, they drew a hard line and told him to leave and not come back until he had straightened himself out. Nathan spent the next year in and out of jail and the hospital as a result of sleeping on the streets and numbing himself with drugs. During that time, Nathan was connected with Cocoon House’s emergency shelter and slowly started to develop a relationship with one of our case managers. After a few stays, he agreed to mental health counseling. As he worked to get his depression under control, Nathan became able to address the other areas of his life. With the support of his therapist and Cocoon House case manager, he decided to stop using drugs on his own. He committed to staying clean and started attending meetings. Finally feeling more in control of his life, he enrolled himself in a GED program. With these positive changes in place, Nathan and his case manager reached out to his parents, who agreed to attend family counseling. After two months, Nathan was able to return home to complete his GED and start planning for adulthood. Nathan is happier and healthier now that he receives ongoing treatment for his depression and has the continued support of family counseling. He was recently accepted to Job Corps, where he plans to study to become a corrections officer.
Because of your support, Nathan was able to obtain his GED, maintain his sobriety, and reconnect with his family. He has been sober for almost one year and spent his 18th birthday at home with his family. Stories like this would not be possible without supporters like you.