2016 #MyGivingStory Award Winner
By Jenny Foster
Our family supports the Child Mind Institute because they gave our daughter her voice! Our daughter was diagnosed with selective mutism when she was four. Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder which leaves individuals unable to talk in certain places or to certain people. Our daughter was completely mute in public, including school, but a chatterbox while at home. We struggled to find the proper help locally for this misunderstood anxiety disorder. With the help of financial aid, we packed our bags and traveled across the United States, to The Child Mind Institute in NYC to take part in a week of intensive behavioral therapy. During this week we met the most amazing clinicians who dedicate their lives to helping children with mental health and learning disorders. Best of all, after one week with her incredible clinician, my daughter found her brave voice. She talked to more people in that one week than she had her entire life. When we returned back home, she was able to keep the momentum going and many teachers and peers heard her voice for the first time at 8 years old.
Our family is forever grateful for the support that The Child Mind Institute gave us, including a travel stipend to make our trip possible. Our daughters wanted to give back over the summer to help other children find their brave voice too. They sold some of their old toys and purchased prizes to send to The Child Mind Institute for their brave store, as rewards are a huge part of treatment to help children build their bravery in order to find their voice. They attached little notes of encouragement onto each prize to make it more meaningful.
Being able to give back to a place that forever changed our lives is an incredible feeling for our entire family. The Child Mind Institute is very deserving of any and all donations. They are providing services to many children all over the country and doing groundbreaking research. They are helping to erase the stigma on childhood mental health and spreading the word that mental health is just as important as physical health! They are speaking up for children and helping children like my daughter speak up for herself! Because of donations to The Child Mind Institute and the amazing clinicians that work there, my daughter has a voice in all settings. She can now advocate her needs and express her wants. My wish is that with continued support to The Child Mind Institute, many children will be able to find the Brave inside of them.
Written in support of Child Mind Institute.