Rhiannon, Female, 17

Struggling with depression and addiction

I’ve been to 4 programs, and this is the best so far!  And I’ve only been here 3 months.

Real Support

At Elevations, people actually care.  They aren’t just here for the money, which is what I felt it was like at other places.  People are really genuine.  If you ask for help, you get it.

For instance, last night I told the night staff I wasn’t feeling well.  I thought I had bronchitis.  In other programs, if I had mentioned this, it would take 3 or 4 days for me to see someone, if I ever did.

But here at Elevations, I saw the doctor first thing the next morning.  It really helped me feel supported and listened to.

Asking for a Floatie

We have something we call a floatie.  It’s like in a pool, where you have something to help you stay afloat.  At Elevations a floatie is where you say to your peers ‘I’m struggling with this and you guys can help me by doing this.’  It is with peers and other staff.  Sometimes I might have a floatie, and other times people have them involving me.

These floaties have helped me build great emotional connections and have support.  People check in with me several times a day and I know I have the floaties I can mention in the mornings or at night with my group.

Big Family

Here, it is like a big family.  We all know and share what we need for ourselves and from one another.  We have PSG—Problem Solving Group—where we deal with issues. We learn to state what we need and how our actions affect others.

One time a peer and I had issues.  We talked about it in PSG and I felt l like I was treated like an equal.  The staff didn’t tell this student and I what to do, but they helped us see how to solve the problem.

Moving on from Addictions

I started in therapeutic programs because I was addicted to heroin for seven months.  I’m still working on my commitment, but for the first time after being in programs for many years, I’m feeling like it’s the right thing to do.

I want to be clean.

Elevations and the staff are helping me put a plan in place for success back home.  I mentioned to staff I used to love volleyball.  That was my outlet.  Rather than ignoring my interests or saying it wasn’t part of the program, they are trying to find ways to support my interests.  They know it is important to me.

It is so nice to have that trust. When I leave here I’m going to live in a different environment than my small town back home where all there is for me is trouble.  I’m going to join club volleyball and get together with a friend who has been clean for three years and is going to college.  She is a great influence and inspiration for me.

For the first time, I’m looking forward to what’s next.

 

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The Elevations Team

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