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LOVING HERSELF, USING COPING SKILLS, AND FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL

The portrait above and it’s title “I Love Myself” are big indications of the changes Aubrey has made since graduating from the program. Her case manager at Passage described her as “a kiddo who struggled significantly with hallucinations, suicidal ideation, and low self-worth.”

Aubrey was 14 years old when she was at Northwest Passage, in January 2013. She came to Prairieview struggling with schizoaffective disorder, which is a mental health “condition in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms – such as hallucinations or delusions – and mood disorder symptoms, such as mania or depression” (mayoclinic.org).

Today, Aubrey is attending Harford Union High School half days and helping her mom clean houses after school sometimes. She is getting along with her family very well and they spend a lot of time together doing many things like hiking, taking pictures, making jewelry, and cooking. She has made several friends, who she enjoys spending time with but it can be difficult because Aubrey and her friends are all busy with jobs and schoolwork.

During her stay with us she learned to use coping skills and has discovered that many of them work well for her out in the community. She takes pictures, walks, journals, and uses mindful skills every day.  “If I am nervous in school or at home, or even in busy stores, I use music or deep breathing to stay calm,” explained Aubrey.

Right now she is focused on finishing high school this year and wants to keep pursing photography.

Northwest Passage is mindful of where are kids go after they graduate from our programs. In our nearly 40 years of development, we have learned that real, sustainable change occurs when our clients connect with their community, explore their identity, develop their passions, appreciate time in nature, attend to their relationships, discover effective recreational opportunities, learn healthy nutritional habits, and move their bodies. Many of the kids keep in touch with us and let us know how they are using what they have learned.

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