Thanks to MOBYSS, Isabelle isn’t a statistic. She’s a high school grad.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Honestly, it’s heartbreaking for me as a Nurse Practitioner and a mother to hear the hopelessness in a young woman’s voice and see the emptiness in her eyes.
Isabelle first got on the MOBYSS bus when she was 16 years old. She had a loving, supportive family, and the whole world in front of her, but she was consumed with debilitating anxiety and rock-bottom moods that had her drowning in suicidal thoughts. The hurt, worry and hopelessness eating her up wrapped itself like a blanket around her.
Isabelle had missed weeks of classes already. Her mother was afraid she wouldn’t finish school; that it would all get so much worse.
Coming to MOBYSS was a last resort, a final attempt to save her life. It took every ounce of her strength and energy to get on that bus.
MOBYSS exists because kids like Isabelle need our help.
And we need your help to Keep MOBYSS in MOTION, especially now, when the mental health of our young people is especially at risk.
Isabelle sat in the chair across from me, her arms crossed, barely able to lift her head. I asked some gentle questions, but her answers were so quiet I had to strain to hear over the noise of the other students on their lunch break. I gave her space, and the time to feel safe.
I know it’s hard it is to be vulnerable, to share those deep, dark, ugly feelings with a complete stranger, even one who has the best intentions.
Isabelle spent her days sleeping and her nights awake, dreading what tomorrow would look like. She didn’t want to suffer anymore and she felt hopeless that anything would help.
My heart ached. It never gets easier to hear the desperation in a teenager’s voice, and it makes me wish programs like MOBYSS were everywhere, for every kid like Isabelle. BUT, even though she was telling me this, Isabelle was here now. She wanted help…and that’s always a glimmer of hope.
As we talked, we came up with a plan, one that made sense to her, to tackle her most worrying feelings. I introduced her to our Peer Support Specialist, someone who truly knows what it’s like to battle a mental health condition and work through recovery. We made plans for her to return to MOBYSS the following week.
As she left the bus, I thought she carried herself a little differently. She had her head up, she looked at me and said good-bye. Deep inside, I hoped today was enough, that she could see the possibilities I could see.
Over the next few months, Isabelle regularly returned to MOBYSS for counselling sessions and medication management. I watched her slowly transform. She radiated a quiet inner strength and motivation. I saw hope in her eyes.
One second at a time, became one minute at a time, became one day at a time, and the start of her journey of recovery.
The quiet, withdrawn girl who could barely look me in the eye blossomed into a confident, empowered person who still has bad days, but now has the courage and desire to put her well-being first and feel optimistic about her future.
I’ll never forget months later, a smiling Isabelle poking her head through the MOBYSS door, with her new friends by her side, to tell me she didn’t need to visit today, that she was doing great.
This year we’ve had to cancel Mental Health in Motion, the one day ride, run, walk event that raises the funds to keep MOBYSS on the road.
We haven’t cancelled our services; we’re just providing them differently right now. We’re using virtual meetings and text and phone to provide counselling, check-ins, basic primary care, sexual health, education, medication management and prescriptions, specialist consults, psychiatric assessments through the Ontario Telemedicine Network referrals to hospitals and other services.
So thank you for considering a gift that will Keep MOBYSS in MOTION, when we’re hearing from more young people now than ever before. Our goal is to raise $70,000 to Keep MOBYSS in MOTION!
1. If you were planning to participate in Mental Health in Motion, but hadn’t registered, please consider making a donation instead. You can do that easily here.
2. Ask your friends, family and colleagues for their support too! Feeling awkward about asking? Here’s some sample messages you can share via email, text, social media and beyond with your network.
3. If you usually make a donation to support a Mental Health in Motion rider, runner or walker, you can still contribute to their fundraising goal! Click here to make a donation, and remember to include the name of the team or individual participant.
4. If you were planning to volunteer with Mental Health in Motion, would you consider making a small donation to help out instead?
5. Itching to do something active? Come up with your own virtual or family event to Keep MOBYSS in MOTION, and invite your social network to support you by donating here.
On behalf of all the Isabelles out there…thank you for your support.
Michelle Hermans, NP-PHC, MN
Nurse Practitioner, MOBYSS
Find out more about how we’re helping kids right now.
How MOBYSS is Changing Lives-Youth Stories
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Jade is an 18-year-old girl who first tried heroin when she was 12 years old, shot up by her mother. She was physically and sexually assaulted on an almost weekly basis by men her mother pimped her out to. She seriously self-harms to numb the pain.
The MOBYSS team found her a safe place to sleep at a youth shelter away from her mother, connected her with Addiction Services for York Region and additional supports from 360Kids, while providing her with regular counselling and wound care for her self-harm injuries.
She is currently in a residential treatment centre working towards her recovery. MOBYSS provided her with a safe place where she could share her needs, while being supported, judgement free.
Janet, an 18-year-old girl who was homeless found out she was pregnant for the first time and wanted to keep her baby.
MOBYSS provided her with regular counseling for anxiety and connected her with Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers and York Region Public Health baby programs for pregnancy support.
MOBYSS also assisted her in finding a place to live with her boyfriend and referred her to a local obstetrician who works with a multidisciplinary team to provide both physical and mental health support.
Farid, a 23-year-old-male from Syria who, on a normal day, went to start his car to go to work and found out a bomb had been planted in it. He now suffers from epilepsy, significant PTSD, and is undergoing reconstructive surgery in Canada after 27 botched surgeries in his home country. The Nurse Practitioner coordinated with a local hospital and provided dressing changes while he awaited his next surgery as well as regular first aid and education to his support staff when a traumatic flashback would throw him into a full seizure.
Youth are more vulnerable now than ever. Donate today to help MOBYSS continue to assist youth when they need it most: https://bit.ly/2XA9mbf.
How MOBYSS is supporting youth during COVID19
Friday, April 17, 2020
With COVID-19 we are receiving calls from hundreds of youth who are looking for support and have nowhere to turn.
As the need for support continues to escalate, we need your help to keep MOBYSS in MOTION, allowing youth to stay connected when they need it most.
Donate today to help youth in your community: https://bit.ly/2XA9mbf.