Maisey’s Story

Mental health problems have long been so stigmatized that children and families are often left feeling isolated, unsupported and without hope. It can be hard for families to admit that they need to seek treatment for their child, but Maisey’s mom, Katie, saw a need in her daughter and turned to the Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT) program at Franciscan Children’s for help.

Maisey struggles with staying calm, making friends, and self-control. Her underlying diagnosis is still being fully understood – for now we know she has a non-specific mood disorder.

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Maisey was admitted to Franciscan Children’s CBAT program, an intensive, short-term acute residential unit for children and adolescents experiencing behavioral and emotional difficulties. Often, the CBAT program is used as a diversion to an inpatient hospitalization. Treatment and stabilization is provided in a structured setting and by simulating everyday community living in a safe, therapeutic environment where children learn the skills and behaviors that will help them when they return to their homes, schools, and communities.

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On average, kids struggling with mental health challenges need 2-3 weeks of the kind of intensive treatment offered in programs like CBAT.

During her time in CBAT, Maisey worked on skills to help her prevent responding aggressively when kids interacted with her in a way she didn’t like. The structured environment of the CBAT program gave Maisey the time, space and support she needed to develop skills that help her stay calm in real world situations and without falling behind in school. Because the program believes in helping kids discover their strengths as well as working on their weaknesses, Maisey’s therapy incorporated two of her favorite things to do — writing and drawing. She used both of these tools in her therapy and even wrote a daily newsletter for her CBAT peers.

On average, kids struggling with mental health challenges need 2-3 weeks of the kind of intensive treatment offered in programs like CBAT. They may be coping with depression, psychosis, attention deficit, anxiety, post-traumatic stress or mood disorders. But, even in that short treatment time, drastic improvements can be seen and safety restored for children and their families.

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“Maisey’s outspoken and bright and I want her to be the successful, independent woman I know she has the potential to be.”

Doctors are still trying to find the underlying cause of her challenges and the aggressive behavior that makes her daily life more difficult than it is for her peers, but for now, Maisey received the one-on-one help she needed to cope.

After  her time in our CBAT program, Maisey returned home and to her regular school setting. Having the CBAT program available has given her mom, Kate, hope for Maisey’s future, “Maisey’s outspoken and bright and I want her to be the successful, independent woman I know she has the potential to be.”

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