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Case Study: Young Female Untreated Mental Health Stemming From an Adolescence of Unhealthy Family Relationships and Trauma

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Young woman enjoys volunteering at animal shelter following mental health and substance abuse treatment at Destination Hope in Fort Lauderdale FL

This is the treatment and early recovery story of a very special young lady who entered the doors of Destination Hope with a track record of instability based in untreated mental health which stemmed from an adolescence filled with unhealthy family relationships and traumatic experiences. Her life was in shambles and she lacked the insight and protective factors necessary to find a semblance of stability on her own. There were significant cultural barriers that impacted her course of treatment due to differing understanding and attitude toward stigmas surrounding mental health as a whole.

Our multidisciplinary team was able to address these cultural barriers while simultaneously working with her to develop and implement an all inclusive, detail oriented, and individualized plan for treatment. Shortly after arriving, it became evident that this individual required inpatient psychiatric stabilization to achieve a level of mental stability necessary to engage in the full course of treatment at Destination Hope. Destination Hope Clinical and Medical Supervisory staff were able to access this client’s mental state during initial treatment admission to determine appropriateness for treatment. At that time the team confirmed a need for referral to local IP Psychiatric Hospital. The patient was referred under Baker Act to the local hospital. While there, our medical team was able to stay in contact with the hospital’s staff to determine appropriateness of return to Destination Hope. After approximately one week, the medical team successfully coordinated this young lady’s return to Destination Hope for treatment.

Upon return, the young lady was deemed appropriate to admit and move forward with the full course of treatment at Destination Hope. While doing so, she was able to take advantage of our unique and detailed multidisciplinary approach. She attended group therapy sessions each and every day on a variety of topics. She received family-specific counseling services to work toward stability within her family dynamic. She engaged in individual therapy and psychiatry sessions to address the symptoms of her Schizoaffective disorder, Major Depressive disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. The Psychiatrists and other members of the treatment team were able to monitor the patient’s medications on a day to day basis with help of the Behavioral Health Technician team who worked as a team to observe the patient’s behaviors around the clock. This approach enabled the patient and team to develop the most suitable medication regimen for this individual patient by the time of discharge. She even got to participate in Dog Therapy weekly which was instrumental in managing intensity of symptoms related to her mental health diagnoses. Case Management engaged with client from day one in the discharge planning process to enable appropriate transition after treatment to an appropriate program to suit her needs.

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By the time of discharge, the patient had successfully completed more than three months of treatment across all levels of care with Destination Hope. She was accepted to a community faith based organization for long term housing and intensive/targeted MH case management services specifically for members of the patient’s religious denomination. Her Destination Hope Psychiatrist recommended an outpatient provider in the patient’s area to best fit her needs and maintain efficient and appropriate continuity of care. Since leaving, the young lady has flourished. Her Destination Hope Therapist and Case Manager receive routine emails on her progress, even photos of her with the dogs she volunteers with at a local animal shelter. The patient’s grandmother has reached out to express gratitude toward the treatment team on multiple occasions, providing evidence that this special young lady’s journey to and through treatment at Destination Hope was successful.

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