Selahkiyah tells the moving story of the journey her son, Nehemiyah, traveled from dark thoughts and depression to a bright future.

“When we moved to Detroit to take care of my sick mother, Nehemiyah started needing help fast. He was eight years old and having very serious and scary thoughts of harming himself. I felt so helpless. It was a really dark time when my child did not want to live. I didn’t know how to help him.

One day, Nehemiyah was drawing pictures of self-harm and telling children he was going to hurt himself with scissors. He wrote a note to his teacher saying he wanted to harm himself. He was hitting himself. Thankfully, we knew about The Children’s Center Crisis Care Center. We went straight there, and they determined Nehemiyah needed to be hospitalized. The crisis clinician worked with the hospital to get us admitted right away, avoiding long and stressful wait times. Now, Nehemiyah is 13; we’ve been back to the Crisis Center six times, but only to the hospital three of those times.

At first, I just wanted Nehemiyah to get better instantly. I didn’t understand why things weren’t improving. Then I agreed to use wraparound services, which turned out to be exactly what we needed. Our Wraparound Facilitator worked with school staff to advocate for our needs, and then communicated with our therapist anything that was going on with Nehemiyah. Most of Nehemiyah’s issues centered on stress from school. Without wraparound, we would not have been able to address those stressors so effectively.

My son feels proud of himself now. I’m proud of him. It’s been a lot of hard work. Everyone has put a lot of hard work into him doing better. Nehemiyah said to me the other day, ‘I know that my mom and The Children’s Center are helping me so that I can be the best adult I can be. I am really thankful.’ and I am so thankful as well.”

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