A Heartwarming Family Success Story about Anthony and his Family

"I learned so much about my child's mental health condition. I learned how to be present for him and hold him with love when he had difficulties controlling himself. I love him so much and now I can see how he is able to express the love for me and others too."

The mother of Anthony – a client at San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center’s Children’s Full Service Partnership Program

Anthony is a 9 year old boy who recently graduated from the Children’s Full Service Partnership (FSP) program. He was referred to the program two years ago because of suicidal and homicidal threats. He was aggressive and reportedly hurt himself and bullied others. He was easily angered, had temper tantrums daily and had difficulty following instructions given by adults. Needless to say, he was not functioning well at home, at school or in the community. In truth, he was every parent’s worst nightmare.

A team of staff at the Center’s Children’s FSP Program, which included a therapist, case manager and psychiatrist, worked closely with Anthony and his family. They provided weekly individual and family sessions, skill building, psychotherapy, medication monitoring, crisis services and case management services. The therapist also worked with Anthony’s mother, offering services for her own mental health symptoms which were interfering with her ability to be emotionally available for her son. In therapy, her own trauma history was revealed. His mother was also able through the program to receive respite services, allowing her to take care of personal tasks that she would not otherwise be able to accomplish while caring for her son. 

Services at the program further helped to meet the family’s need for food, prevent utility shut off and meet his educational goals. 

After several months of services, Anthony was relating to people very differently. His grades at school improved and he was no longer getting in fights.  

He was able to establish a close relationship with the treatment staff. He even developed a special relationship with the principal at his school. In fact, on Halloween they planned to both have the same costume; they dressed up as pirates.

Anthony displayed an interest in Tae Kwon Do and responded well to lessons taught by the instructor. There, he learned discipline and respect for authority. He excelled at his art and won numerous awards. He is now working on his black belt. The instructor took Anthony under his wing and became an inspiring mentor in his life.

Building all of these relationships contributed to Anthony’s ability to reduce his aggressive behaviors and improve the relationship with his family. He has made friends and expressed excitement to his therapist when a new friend invited him to a sleepover. Anthony’s mother said this was the first time Anthony was able to make and keep a friend. 

Anthony graduated from the Children’s FSP program and is now receiving less intensive services through the Center. 

“I am so proud of Anthony and his mother!” “I know that this client will be one that I never forget!”

                Anthony’s therapist

The Children’s Full Service Partnership (FSP) program offers intensive services to children with serious emotional disturbances. Services are also provided to parents and family members for their own mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence issues.