Tammy and Emma

"I'm happy to be able to be happy."

January 22, 2020

Emma doesn’t remember much about when she first arrived at Avanti, other than feeling empty and anxious all the time. She was a chronic self-harmer and had made two attempts to take her own life.

“It was the ‘me’ I came to know,” Emma recalled. Her mother, Tammy, was beginning to feel stuck and helpless.

They came to Avanti reluctantly after trying expensive outpatient therapies. Emma had even been hospitalized after each suicide attempt but she didn’t feel her work with staff there had lasting impact.

“We were scared… we could not keep her safe,” Tammy recalls.

The first couple weeks at Avanti were difficult for Emma. She didn’t like her counselors at first. She told Tammy they were mean and didn’t listen. But after her first trauma therapy session, Emma realized the ‘tough love’ from her counselors was to help her see herself more clearly and she started to see a path forward.

“I felt like I didn’t need to hide anymore and that I could be vulnerable,” Emma said.

Tammy started to notice a difference in her daughter too. Emma was beginning to take accountability for her actions and expressed gratitude for the things that helped her feel better, including their relationship. Emma started to ask for Tammy to visit and was more open about her teenage life in their conversations.

Avanti staff are experts in building well-being. They see the whole client to cocreate a complete solution, leveraging the client's strengths with Avanti’s resources.

The road to recovery isn’t over for Emma and Tammy, but they feel in control. Emma began her sophomore year at a new high school this year. She’s ready for a new beginning.

“I’m happy to have a good relationship with my family. I’m happy to be able to be happy and I accept myself for who I am.”