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Former patient writes about "most challenging yet amazing year"

07/18/19 03:10:pm

letter.jpgA former patient recently detailed a journey of mental health recovery online. After limited treatment and a later suicide attempt, the person came back to Rogers, writing that even though it was terribly sad to reach that point of suffering, it would ultimately lead them to their “most challenging yet amazing year” of their life.

“In the fall, I readmitted to a residential program in Oconomowoc, WI. I was truly devastated to endure what felt like defeat. Every single year of high school up to that point had been miserable, and just a few months prior I was so excited to finally have a normal year of high school.

I spent thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s in treatment. I expected it to be really lonesome and depressing, but I actually had a really great holiday season. The month of December was absolutely amazing in terms of the unit’s vibe. Treatment was of course challenging like none other, but we got to watch Christmas movies in the evenings, we decorated a Christmas tree, and we learned about and celebrated Hanukkah with our Jewish peers.

One of the residential care specialists, Kevin, dressed up as Santa for his shift on Christmas morning. Our treatment teams had put together a customized gift for everyone on our unit, and we got to spend the day taking a break from treatment work. I expected spending the holidays alone on the other side of the country to be isolating and grim, but it was actually kind of fun. :) That’s not to say treatment wasn’t challenging though. IT WAS.

I discharged a day before my 18th birthday. Saying goodbye to treatment members who changed my life forever was so hard to do, AND I’m so happy with how everything resolved itself.”

Kevin Petranu, who was mentioned above for dressing as Santa for the holidays and is now a behavioral specialist, had this to say after reading the former patient’s story:

“Success stories such as these are what motivates me to come into work every day—I want our patients to live their lives to their complete potential! Hearing about the progress she has made months after discharge speaks to the quality of care that is provided here, and to the hard work that she put in during treatment and after leaving. I was asked to comment on how it feels to hear about the impact I made on a resident when I dressed up as Santa for the holidays, and although rewarding, I was never doing it for myself. I dressed as Santa to boost the morale of the unit. I knew it would be hard for the patients to be away from their families over the holiday, so I’m glad that it helped them feel some holiday joy. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t feel supported by my coworkers. Our entire team—from the residential care specialists to the clinical staff—at Focus Adolescent deserves credit because we all do amazing things for our patients, day-in and day-out.”

Dr. Peggy Scallon, medical director of Focus Depression Recovery Adolescent Residential Care adds, “It is a great story and exceptional in many ways—but on the other hand, it is just the kind of care our team provides every day.”

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