EMQ FamiliesFirst Help and Hope for Kids in Crisis

When Life Outside Seems Dangerous

The world has always been a scary place for Julio. Leaving home, attending school and other normal daily activities resulted in high anxiety, insomnia and irritable behavior. He often refused to go outside because he imagined his life was in danger from unseen enemies. Truancy, failing grades and extreme shyness and shame around others led to his involuntary hospitalization after years of different types of mental health treatments.

At age 16, Julio began to receive help from one of our Wraparound treatment teams which was available through state funding. Initially the team helped Julio with school and mental health routines that could decrease his anxiety. The combination of medication and positive social interactions encouraged Julio that his life could be better. He discovered he is a great cook and can communicate well with people by phone, letters and emails.

With the help of the team, Julio and his family created a new dynamic with each other that allowed Julio to participate more fully in daily routines at home, including regular chores and short family outings. His parents learned to help Julio with his behavior through positive reinforcement and age-appropriate consequences and rewards.

His goal now is to earn a GED and become a barber. In the meantime, Julio is enjoying reduced anxiety, irritation and sadness and living at home with his family despite chronic mental illness. 


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