13-year-old Izzy* spent half of her life in El Salvador before moving to Richmond. She was introduced to ChildSavers through a school counselor last year, in the middle of 7th grade. She was being bullied at school and unknowingly had a learning disability that she could not shake. These issues in addition to English being her second language snowballed into a mental health crisis. She had trouble expressing herself and became extremely anxious and depressed.
Throughout her therapy sessions, Izzy began to express her feelings and frustrations through art and sand tray play. Her therapist worked with her teachers to develop a classroom plan and address her learning disability. Izzy also wanted to include her mom in her sessions so they could become better communicators and understand each other. Every day, they have intentional check-ins before dinner, sometimes while they’re preparing the meal or setting the table together.
Just before COVID-19 struck our community, Izzy experienced an intense depressive episode due to bullying and additional circumstances at school. She began cutting herself and expressed suicidal ideations. After spending a week in the hospital, Izzy was released and began weekly sessions with her ChildSavers therapist.
Izzy’s current teletherapy sessions have focused on redirecting her emotions. Because her mother is immunocompromised, she is unable to spend more than a few minutes outside during this pandemic. This is extremely difficult because outdoor activities help her cope.
When Izzy finds herself anxious about falling behind academically now that school is closed, or making her mom ill, she pours herself into art and indoor activities. Izzy and her therapist build art projects and color together via video conferencing as they process emotions and thoughts every week.
“Sometimes she won’t speak until she’s spent a few minutes creating. Then, the words and feelings start to pour out,” said Izzy’s therapist.
Thank you for your continued support in building resilience in children like Izzy. Please donate today to allow children like Izzy to access therapy during COVID-19.
*Name and details have been altered to protect the identity of this child.