The Y Is Saving Lives: Read Maria's Story

Last updated: March 22, 2023, at 4:58 a.m. PT

Originally published: April 24, 2018, at 12:32 p.m. PT

Maria was struggling in school and acting out at home. Her mom thought she was “just being a teenager”, but what her mom didn’t see was the internal emotional struggle her daughter was faced with every day.

Maria’s school counselor referred her to the YMCA’s Children’s Crisis Outreach Response System (CCORS). During Maria’s first meeting with her Crisis Intervention Specialist, she shared that she was planning to commit suicide on New Year’s Eve. She thought this was the only option to bring her relief and understanding from her family.

CCORS also connected with Maria’s mom and brother, and as a family unit, they worked on developing communication and coping skills. Her mom met separately with a Parent Partner, a trained professional with life experience raising their own child through difficult situations. With this common ground, the Parent Partner was able to provide comfort, offer advice, and talk with Maria’s mom how she could effectively support her daughter.

A few weeks into the New Year and after several sessions with CCORS, Maria reflected on the change in her relationship with her family. Maria said, “More people care about me than I realized. I feel like I have a handle on everything.”

For families in crisis, CCORS can mean the difference between hospitalization and graduation. It is often the difference between family separation and unity, and in a number of cases, is the difference between life and death. Each year, CCORS serves over 3,500 young people and their families. Families can be connected with this program by dialing 2-1-1, and staff are on-call 24/7.

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Category: Behavioral Health