Bullying Led My Daughter to Depression & Psychiatric Hospitalization: How She Achieved Mental Health Wellness [VIDEO]
During our Annual Story Contest, Angela submitted a very personal story with a powerful message. Angela is the mother of Anneliese, an adolescent girl who received mental health treatment from Camber (previously KVC Hospitals). In this story, Angela shares how bullying led Anneliese to severe depression and psychiatric hospitalization. Watch the video below to hear their story of hope and courage.
If your child is having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. To find mental health services near you, call Camber at (913) 890-7468.
Bullying Led to Psychiatric Hospitalization
When Anneliese was 18 months old, she was diagnosed with Blount’s Disease, a rare condition that affects the way she walks. Because of this disease, Anneliese has undergone multiple surgeries, which has impacted her physical and mental health. When she started school, children started bullying her. They constantly made fun of the way she walks, told her to kill herself and sent death threats. It can be hard for kids to open up about these types of experiences and Anneliese kept her feelings to herself for a while.
Over time, the emotional pain built up inside Anneliese and she experienced a mental health emergency. We went to a crisis center in Wichita and they recommended we go to Camber Kansas City. In that time of crisis, I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do but at two in the morning, I drove my daughter from Wichita to Kansas City so she could get the treatment she needed.
Camber’s team treated us with kindness and respect throughout the whole treatment process. We received a variety of resources and tools to help us continue with Anneliese’s treatment after she was discharged and came home. Camber saved my daughter’s life.
Sharing Our Story to Give Others the Courage to Share Theirs
One of the challenges of parenting is realizing you don’t always know what your child is thinking or feeling. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in adolescents, but I had never imagined my child’s life being at risk.
“Before I came to my mom and confessed how I was feeling, I just felt so alone—like she wouldn’t understand and judge me for it. But after I got the help that I needed, I understood that it’s ok not to be ok. You can get the help you need. It’s never too late to open up,” – Anneliese.
Due to the stigma surrounding mental health, many who struggle are afraid to share their stories. We’re sharing our story because we want our experience to help instill courage in others facing similar challenges. Since sharing our story about mental health and our experience with Camber, many families have talked with us about their struggles.
Through our journey, we started a group connecting families across the U.S. who are managing Blount’s Disease diagnoses like us. In the future, we hope to start a nonprofit for Blount’s Disease. We don’t want people to be ashamed to share their stories as they can help inspire others. We hope our story can help make a difference in just one person’s life.
Giving Back to Other Families with a New Career
After Camber helped my daughter, I decided to pursue a degree in psychology and a career in mental health. Soon after this, I learned Camber was opening a treatment center to provide psychiatric hospitalization in Wichita. I instantly wanted to be part of their work and help other families the way Camber helped mine, so I applied for a job.
My career with Camber Wichita has been awesome since day one. I enjoy working with the kids and learning new things along the way. My coworkers are so welcoming and we feel like family.
I want to be that shining light for someone battling the darkness of mental illness and I believe all children have a right to lead happy and healthy lives.
“Thank you, Camber, for saving my daughter’s life and giving me the opportunity to pursue my goals in the mental health field. People matter.” – Angela
Psychiatric Hospitalization at Camber
Camber is a network of nonprofit children’s psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment centers serving Kansas and Missouri. Each year, we help thousands of youth ages 6 to 18 who are experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, the impacts of childhood trauma, and other behavioral and mental health needs. Our compassionate team of experts uses neuroscience-based treatment resources to help youth understand their brains, develop skills for emotion regulation, and build resilience.