Nicole came to Yorktown Child and Family Centre’s walk-in because she was feeling overwhelmed with her 8 year old daughter, Michelle, who was having trouble managing her emotions. Michelle’s behaviour was progressively getting worse – she was having frequent outbursts and her attitude was becoming more and more aggressive. She was also becoming physically violent when she became angry. Nicole was worried that her daughter would harm herself or others. She needed to find a way to help Michelle control her temper and not be so angry and unhappy all the time. Her behaviour was having a significant impacted on the rest of the family and calls of concerns from her school were increasing.
Nicole is a single parent and in addition to Michelle, she has a daughter Lilly, age 15. She is also raising her sister’s daughter Monique. As a single parent working full time it was very difficult for Nicole to take time from work to go to appointments to seek help during the day. Nicole’s Child Welfare Family Worker recommended that she go to YCFC’s walk-in clinic which is open in the evenings. Nicole came alone to the clinic and was relieved to find that she was made to feel comfortable even at her first visit. She felt that she was welcomed and could speak freely about her concerns. “The therapist really listened and understood why I came to see her. At that very first meeting she helped me to develop some strategies that I could use with Michelle when I returned home. Not only were the strategies easy to follow – they worked! I really needed help right away and I received it. I don’t know what I would have done. There wasn’t anywhere else to turn.”
The therapist suggested to Nicole to bring her family with her for the next visit. “The children were shy going in but the therapist knew just what to do. Even though some of us were reluctant she got us all involved. She helped us to discover that we all have the same goal – peace! We realized that we were all contributing to the problem. The therapist then helped us to understand how each of us can be part of the solution. “When we left the session we felt relieved. We were happy and even joking together. We felt like we had turned a corner. We had two more sessions at the walk-in and each one made a very big difference for us. Not only is Michelle doing much better in school but we are all much happier at home using the strategies the therapist helped us develop. It was just the program we needed, and it was there when we needed it.”
Nicole has signed up for YCFC’s “Parenting Wisely” Program and is looking forward to developing skills that will help her and her family maintain harmony. Gateways to Service Opens Gateways to Success Yorktown Child and Family Centre’s (YCFC) 5 day/week “what’s up walk-in” counselling service provides immediate and effective mental health services to children and youth who are experiencing social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties at home, in school or in the community. Service is available for children, youth and families living west of Yonge St. and city-wide in conjunction with partners East Metro Youth Services and Oolagen.
*The names in this story have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.