You Saved Our Son’s Life… A Suicide Program Success Story
A few years ago, our youngest son was a Senior in High School. He was always quiet and self-contained, playing video
games in his spare time and talking with us occasionally. It wasn’t any different than his entire life so far. Until one day,
he stabbed a fellow student with a math compass in the arm. He was suspended for a couple of days and the Vice Principal talked with him. Everything continued on as before and even though we couldn’t get an answer from him about it
other than, “He kept bugging me and I wanted him to stop,” we assumed everything was probably okay. We talked
about it and talked to the school and thought it was addressed. About a month later, he attacked another kid at the
school in the cafeteria while everyone was waiting for school to start. He ran across the room and grabbed the kid by
the throat, rolling around on the floor. Neither the Principal nor we could get an answer from him, or the kid he attacked, about why it happened. As part of our son’s being able to return to school, he had to see a counselor at CCYSB.
I felt confused about what had happened, and sort of annoyed with our son for doing something so out of character.
His first visit was with Jordan at CCYSB… we filled out paperwork and he went in to talk with Jordan. A while later, he
came out to the waiting area and said that Jordan would like to speak to me…
I didn’t know then that our entire lives were about to drastically change.
Jordan told me that my 17-year-old son wanted to kill himself. That he had wanted to do so since he was 12 and that he
had picked out ways to do it. It was the reason that he didn’t want to take driver’s training, because he was afraid that
if he drove a car, that he would just crash it into someone or something on purpose in order to kill himself. My heart
turned cold and I am sure that this is what is meant as a broken heart, because I felt it break. We left there and drove
straight to Carroll Community Hospital and I put my beautiful boy in the Psych unit for 3 days. I cried the entire way
home. I’m fairly certain that my son did, too.
From that point, Jordan suggested that we meet with a therapist named Melody to receive
Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT). My husband, our son and I went every week
to BSFT, filling out lots of paperwork each week, answering questions, meeting with Melody and just talking about family choices, the way we dealt
with each other and basically just chatting for an hour. It didn’t seem like therapy,
it seemed like chatting with a friend. We laughed, I cried – which is normal for our family – I’m
a teary sort. We talked, we made plans, and we talked about how we had worked on things the week
prior. After 2 months, we felt that we had talked enough and Patsy felt that we had accomplished the objectives
that we had all set and things seemed to be going well. I think we felt “healed” enough to make it on our own.
I know that it saved our son’s life.
It was good for a couple of years, and then I noticed that our son, who had graduated by then, gone to college for a
while and dropped out, and who still refused to drive, was never showering, never talking with us and being generally
sullen. I was more and more concerned about him. I talked with him about going back to talk with Jordan and he
Meeting with Jordan saved our son’s life a second time. He was put on antidepressants, and Jordan was a safe and caring person to talk with about all of the things that life was putting in front of him and that were bothering him. For several months, we went to speak with Jordan every week, then were able to taper off to twice a month and finally to stop
going. Since Jordan’s specialty is suicide prevention, he was the perfect choice for our son to talk with. Jordan was able
to recognize patterns and things that our son said that concerned him. And since our son only told us things that he
thought WE wanted to hear, we could only see his physical changes that warned us things weren’t going as well as we
hoped. But he was able to talk with Jordan and that made a huge difference with him.
Right now, he still has long hair and a beard, but it’s not greasy very often. He actually looks quite trendy. That may
seem a little thing, but it’s an outward show that he’s doing better on the inside. He’s taking medication for ADHD instead of antidepressants and that seems to be doing a better job for him. He’s working and being more productive than
he’s been in years. And today, he just texted me and said that he’s thinking about buying a car! That wouldn’t have
been possible without the help he and our family have received from CCYSB and especially from Jordan.
After our first time of receiving help from CCYSB, I wrote a letter thanking Melody and the staff there for helping our
family. After reading it, I was asked to speak at their 40th Anniversary party, which I was happy to do. After that, I was
also asked to be on the Board of Directors. So, thanks to the work that is done there, I still have my family. I have a son
who is learning to deal with depression and ADHD and to be productive and strong.
So, am I a supporter of CCYSB? You had better believe it! Our lives have depended upon it.
PLEASE NOTE: Names have been changed to ensure patient confidentiality. Photo is a stock image.