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Hear Our Stories

Hear from families with children’s behavioral health needs about their experiences.

    I had to stop going to therapy because the copay was too high. I needed help, I just couldn’t afford it.

    - Amanda, a young behavioral health activist in Albany

    I’ve always been depressed, since I was little. I never understood why I was so angry and so sad all the time. I felt like everything about me was disgusting. ​ My dad was a detective. They say that’s the best insurance you’ll ever have… unless you need mental health services. ​ I had thoughts of suicide. I knew I needed help, but it was so difficult to find. A lot of psychiatrists had long waiting lists, some weren’t taking my insurance. I started with a list of providers from my insurance company, but most weren’t accepting new patients. ​ I would have benefited from someone telling me, ‘I’ve been through this and came out at the other side.’ It means more coming from someone who’s been there.

    - Caitlin, a youth peer advocate in Long Island

    They take these young children and put them in a police car. I went down to the police commissioner and said, ‘You guys need training. Now my son has been handcuffed and strip searched. He’s not a bad kid, he has a mental illness.​ If your child is under 10, there’s just nowhere for them to go. We need more help for young kids.

    - Christina, a mother in Long Island

    I’ve been fighting for this child since the day she was born, and I didn’t get any help. I got shunned, I got ignored. Everything but help. ​ The therapy is inadequate. They’re overworked, they don’t have the time to really find out what your child needs. ​ I felt like such a failure, I felt like the worst mom in the world.

    - Ruth, a mother in Brooklyn

    As soon as your child starts to trust a therapist, they’re gone. That’s another piece of trauma. Yet another loss, yet another disappointment. You do a lot of backsliding.

    - Stephanie, a mother in Poughkeepsie

    As soon as your child starts to trust a therapist, they’re gone. That’s another If we don’t have quality providers and a stable workforce, our families don’t get what they deserve. People do this work because they care about the kids and their families. Nobody’s looking to get rich, but it would be nice to not have to worry about making ends meet.

    - Trish, a behavioral health provider in Poughkeepsie