NYFS recently helped a 10-year-old boy who was having problems in school.
According to school staff, the boy had problems paying attention, staying on task and was easily distracted to the point that he was affecting his success in the classroom.
While this can be a common problem for young children, this boy had more to deal with than the average child; his father had been deployed to Iraq and he was forced to change schools and leave his home to live with his aunt while his father was gone.
NYFS Counseling Center staff worked with the boy and helped him express his feelings about his father’s absence. His classroom behavior steadily improved. With help, the boy also learned to manage his impulsive behavior in the classroom and maintain his focus and attention without difficulty. His home life improved too and the child was better able to show appropriate and respectful behavior toward his aunt during these difficult times. His counselor showed him how to seek and receive help from others when he was having a hard time dealing with his father’s absence.
During the course of therapy, the boy was also able to use his newfound problem-solving skills to address potential difficulties with adjusting back to his previous living situation when his father returned from Iraq. Throughout the entire process, he was able to maintain above average academic scores throughout the school year.
This child’s story represents just one of thousands of lives touched by the dedicated staff of Northeast Youth & Family Services. Each year, the Counseling center serves over 1,500 youth and their families through one to one and group counseling. For more information about NYFS mental health programs and services, please call 651-486-3808.
John Lennon wrote, ‘Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans.’ While I was packing for college 12 years ago, life happened to me. My dad died that night of a heart attack. The next days blurred into the next year, with only a few milestones sticking out in my mind – moving to college, that first Christmas and moving home for the summer. I was a shadow of myself, a zombie. My family noticed it but I didn’t.
Fall semester of my sophomore year marked the bottom for me. My grades were subpar, I was struggling with the daily grind of college and I even started lashing out at my family. They quickly became fed up with my zombie state about the same time I started to notice that I needed help. In January 2001, I sought grief counseling at Northeast Youth & Family Services (NYFS) in Shoreview, Minn. Over the course of the next semester, a counselor named Paul worked with me. I noticed a dramatic improvement in my grades, my temperament and my overall enjoyment of life. In May, Paul told me that he felt I was ready to graduate from his services, but that he and NYFS would be there for me if I needed them again.
From then on, I started leading the life I knew I could – and one that would make my dad proud. I graduated from the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2003 with a bright future. But I never forgot Paul and NYFS and the impact they had on my life.
In 2008, I found the challenge I was ready for in my life; I took up triathlons and distance running after watching a good friend of mine from high school finish IRONMAN Wisconsin. That day with the inspiration at the IRONMAN finish line, I set a goal to pay homage to my dad with physical fitness. Since 2009, distance sports have become a staple of my life. In 2011, I ran the Twin Cities Marathon, my first marathon.
As I trained for the marathon, I worked to raise $5,000 for NYFS to help kids in their hour of need, just as NYFS helped me. Northeast Youth & Family Services is a community-based non-profit that assists youth and families for healthy lives. In addition to mental health services, NYFS offers to youth: mentoring, summer camp, employment training programs, and other opportunities. Many of these programs are offered either as pay-as-you-can or for free. While I had health insurance to pay for my counseling services, many do not. And I want to help those kids.
Everyone needs help at some point in life. You can make a difference. Donate to NYFS to help this great organization assist children and families in our community.
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