Families are complex. Unfortunately, so is healthcare in the United States. All too often, parents are unable to find, receive, or afford appropriate healthcare for their children. This applies to physical and mental health care, both of which are vital to raising healthy kids. 

Mia’s* dad was desperate for help. Mia was acting out at home and at school. She was becoming more and more withdrawn. Their relationship was becoming increasingly strained. Dad wasn’t sure what to do or where to turn for help. 

Mia’s parents are divorced. Though they share joint custody of Mia, the agreement is stressed by geographic differences. Mia moved out of Ohio with her mother after the divorce, while dad stayed home to care for his own father. Mia’s behavioral issues emerged shortly after she recently returned to Ohio to live with her dad. The problems became more pronounced as the school year progressed. Complications related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the situation. 

Then Mia’s teacher discovered Mia was hurting herself. 

Dad sought help at Cincinnati’s respected local hospitals but unfortunately encountered long waitlists for mental health services. Mia needed help right away. Dad reached out to Beech Acres Parenting Center to inquire if a student enrolled in the virtual academy would be eligible for services. He was hopeful Mia would benefit from a holistic, strengths-based approach to her treatment. Unfortunately, Mia’s mother held her insurance in another state, complicating Mia’s ability to receive treatment in Ohio. 

Sensitive to the urgency in providing support for Mia, Beech Acres Parenting Center’s Beyond the Classroom, Client Access, and Kinship Connections teams brainstormed ways to remove barriers for Mia to receive services. Fortunately, we were able to provide flexible payment options that dad could afford to get Mia into services right away. 

Dad was relieved. He agreed to the flexible payment option, and Mia began weekly sessions with Lindsay, a Beech Acres Parenting Center therapist. Lindsay’s goal was to get Mia back on track as soon as possible. Lindsay identified Mia’s strengths which included teamwork, hope, and perseverance. Lindsay reinforced these strengths and introduced Mia to some coping skills and affirmations based in mindfulness to help her confront and address her feelings in a positive way. 

Mia began to see improvement. 

Her discipline incidents in school decreased significantly. She stopped acting out so often in school and at home. Her relationship with her father improved. She became less withdrawn, building her strength of teamwork by playing softball. She is making tremendous progress both behaviorally and academically. And most importantly, her self-harm has ceased. 

Mia is continuing with weekly sessions with Lindsay until she moves back in with her mom for the summer. The goal is to build as much resiliency in Mia as possible before she heads home. Resilience empowers children to overcome obstacles, effectively address their big emotions, and diminish the harmful effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) they encounter. Thanks to dad’s perseverance, hope, and love Mia was able to receive the care she so desperately needed.