As DaVion entered his teenage years he started to struggle emotionally. His mother, Shawn, began to worry. Like so many of us, DaVion needed to talk to someone about what he was going through and get professional support. Shawn recognized that as a former Children’s Center client herself:

“I remember at his age, I needed someone to talk about things I felt like my grandmother didn’t understand. Things I was scared to talk about with other people.”

At one point, DaVion tried to harm himself and run away. He and Shawn were shouting at each other all the time. Shawn felt very frustrated, and knew she had to take action.

Shawn and DaVion started therapy services at The Children’s Center. The therapy was helping and after a year DaVion began seeing Youth Peer Support Specialist (YPSS) T’Yanna, as well. As a YPSS, T’Yanna has lived experience with many of the issues facing youth at The Children’s Center.

Shawn began to see immediate improvement in DaVion. “T’Yanna truly made a difference,” says Shawn. “I could get DaVion to communicate more, to talk about his feelings and calm down.”

DaVion and T’Yanna played card games during their sessions, which made it easier for DaVion to open up and work through challenges. Eventually, DaVion came to T’Yanna to share that he was ready to end his mental health services. T’Yanna was able to coach DaVion through telling his therapist and Shawn that he wanted to move forward and they both agreed he was ready.

DaVion says, “At The Children’s Center, I learned to open up more and that it’s OK to actually like myself as I am. I always had it inside me to believe it, I just needed a kick-start, and that is what I got at The Children’s Center.”

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