The Story of “Eve”
Eve is a 7-year-old girl in first grade at the Cedar Key school. At an early age she would hurt herself either physically or emotionally when things did not go her way. I can remember when Eve was 2-years-old, she would bang head on a desk when she was told “no.” As a toddler, Eve would hurt herself so bad at times she would leave bruises on her body. She would bite herself, threaten to kill herself, or injure herself in other ways. My husband and I searched for help at multiple mental health facilities, but found that none of the facilities were able to assist Eve. Beginning first grade was difficult for Eve, she struggled to make friends and fit in. Many of Eve’s peers bullied her in school. The self-injurious behavior continued. I was very worried listening to my daughter threaten to kill herself. The knives had to be removed from the house.
It seemed that Baker Acting Eve was the next step. Friends of ours informed us about Meridian Behavioral Healthcare’s services for children. I called to make an appointment for Eve during Christmas break. We got an appointment quickly, in less than 2 weeks, at the Cross City clinic. Counselor Sara Creel reviewed the school based services that were being provided at Cedar Key School (Eve’s school). Following that meeting, Eve participated in counseling sessions weekly with Sara.
Since attending counseling sessions with Sara, Eve has made so much progress. Sara has been excellent. Sara helped Eve understand what reasonable reactions are to things not going her way and stressful situations. Change was seen right away from Sara’s help. Now, Eve shows very little unreasonable behaviors and she even corrects herself when she has issues. I wish this turnaround happened years ago. There have not been self-injurious behaviors since progress was made during therapy with Sara. Eve still meets with Sara at the Cedar Key school. Meridian has been extremely helpful for Eve and our family.
The Story of “Frank”
As a result of his episodes of paranoia, Frank, his wife, and 2 children were often homeless, living in the family car. Frank was referred to Meridian’s Forensics department, having been arrested during a psychotic episode, despite numerous warnings from family, friends, and authorities to seek professional help. During episodes of psychosis, Frank believed people were planning to hurt him and his family, driving him to irrational behavioral.
Frank was placed in a state hospital, where he was stabilized, and later released back into the community. Meridian provided mental health services and forensic monitoring, while encouraging Frank to be an active participant in his own recovery. With some assistance, Frank obtained benefits, which granted him access to consistent treatment, something he never had before.
Frank is a completely different person with treatment and support. He has become a friendly, outgoing person, and a reliable, stable presence to his wife and 2 children. He is now active in his church, where he and the pastor are starting a jail ministry. Frank hopes to be an inspiration to other incarcerated individuals faced with mental health and substance use disorder issues.