Personal Stories

Fighting for My Daughter’s Recovery By Demanding a Change in the System

by Carrie Moody

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The heartache that comes with watching your child suffer is unspeakable. As I reflect on my daughter’s mental health journey (and the suffocating pressures teens face today), I want to share our story and fight for change in our mental health care system.

My daughter struggled so hard to see the value of her life. She attempted suicide on multiple occasions, tormented by her own mind and beliefs that she was not meant to be here.

I had to fight hard to get her the help she needed, often reaching dead ends and feeling like there was no hope. But I wasn't about to give up on her. Through months of what felt like complete isolation, helplessness and desperation, I kept fighting for her; I continued to advocate for her and the services she needed. Ultimately, I was able to get her treatment.

After finding an inpatient facility for my daughter, there were many months of feeling completely alone and unsupported, pleading with God to save her. I felt a wave of guilt for sending my child so far away from her family, but I had to remind myself that this could very well save her life — and it did. She came out of treatment with wonderful new coping skills and a new outlook on life. She has new sense of motivation, and she wants to give back to others however she can. This change in her can only be described as a miracle; I still can't believe it after nine months of having her back home.

I feel very fortunate that I was table to find quality services thanks to my insurance, but during our journey, I met so many parents who were trapped in a system that cared more about money than actually saving lives. I watched parents beg and plead with these facilities and insurance companies to keep their children longer than the standard 21-day or 30-day stays.

As many parents will tell you, that amount of time often doesn't even scratch the surface for some children seeking help at these expensive facilities. Seeing these families feel helpless was heartbreaking.

This is something I want to fight for. Something needs to change. There are accessible programs and resources out there, but often, people just don't know how to find them. I had to scramble and reach out to so many different avenues for help. Eventually, I found NAMI’s Family Connections program and joined a 12-week family support group. This group not only validated the intense emotions I had around my daughter's struggles, but it became a safe place for me to feel supported and understood. I don't know if I would have survived the last year without this group.

Moving forward, I want to fight for the families that are so desperate to help their children. Everyone deserves a fair chance. Each one of us deserves to know others are there to support and care and help us. The pain of watching my child suffer over the last two years has given me purpose and the will to keep advocating for families however I can.