When she first came to El Futuro during her eighth grade year she had trouble holding her head up and couldn’t stop crying because of her sadness. With thoughts of dropping out, she felt upset and disappointed in herself. She had stopped hearing the words from her family and bristled when advice was given to her. She found out about El Futuro through a presentation we did at her school.Through therapy and a period of treatment with psychiatric medication she became less sad, more hopeful and the smile returned to her pretty face. During her 9th grade year she made the soccer team. During her 10th grade year these celebrated her Quincenera. In the 11th grade she took her first AP class. Earlier this Spring she received a letter from UNC Chapel Hill congratulating her. She sent us an email that said, “Thank you for helping me and encouraging me!” Signed, ” A fresh new Tar Heel to be!” She graduated from high school in June!!
When Latino families in central North Carolina come to our clinics they meet with Spanish-speaking therapists who provide top-notch therapy for mental illness and substance abuse disorders. But due to cutbacks in public funding we are increasingly unable to provide a full course of treatment. Until recently, our patients were able to receive a full course of treatment– psychiatric care and individual or group therapy. Now we typically can provide only 8 sessions of therapy for each patient, leaving a critical gap in care for many.