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Stories

Because of you, children have hope for a better life!

Its not easy being a youth today, and its so much harder, when you are struggling with your mental health.  The stories below are only possible because of someone like you, who cared. Your donations make an immediate and life changing difference. Donate here, if you would like to partner with us to help kids. 

- John's Story: The Importance of the Transition Worker

School had always been tough for John - his extremely challenging behaviour created many problems with his studies and with his peers. He arrived at Lutherwood and through a variety of assessments learned of his diagnosis of PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder).

At Lutherwood, John learned to succeed in the classroom. But how would he manage going back to a community school? The treatment team, including a Lutherwood Transition worker, started planning John's transfer back to the community school months before he was ready to leave.They identified specific strategies that helped John at Lutherwood and would be critical to his ongoing success. The Transition worker then communicated those strategies to the community school and became part of the new school based team that would help John. The Transition worker went in to the classroom with John, facilitated meetings of his new support team, and modeled effective strategies.

Today, John is very connected to his school community, has friends, works in the school cafeteria and even stays after school to participate in extracurricular activities. The Transition worker helped create the conditions so that John now feels proud, accepted and no longer misunderstood! 

- Shannon's Story: Safe Haven Shelter Offers New Hope

Shannon rang the buzzer at midnight. It was cold. The fourteen year old had no jacket and no money. In the last few weeks, Shannon had been skipping a lot of school and got busted for dealing drugs. She had a huge blow-up fight with her parents and took off out of the house. But Shannon knew where to go. She recalled a presentation about Runaway Prevention that a Youth Counsellor from Lutherwood gave at her high school. She remembered that the Counsellor had talked about the dangers of being on the street and that Safe Haven Shelter was a safe place to go to.

Shannon stayed at Safe Haven for the next two weeks, receiving not only a bed and meals, but help to turn her life around and return to living at home. Staff helped Shannon improve the choices she was making in her behaviours and relationships. Safe Haven's Family Counsellor worked with Shannon and her family to help them deal with their conflicts and develop a communication plan. She also linked them to other supportive community resources.

Shannon returned home, more confident in her family's ability to stay together.

- Carl's Story: Refocused Through Music Therapy

Most therapies at Lutherwood involve a lot of talking. But some kids find it hard to talk, especially about their problems. Carl's criminal behaviour of assault and robbery led him to Lutherwood. Initially angry and resistant to his treatment program, he was unwilling to make any real positive changes. Rapping in his music therapy sessions made the difference for him. The first raps he shared had explicit language and violent content. The Music Therapist challenged him to write about more positive emotions. Carl grew to appreciate the freedom in his music therapy sessions and was able to develop trust and realize he wanted to make positive changes in his life. Here are some snippets from his final "free-style" rap while at Lutherwood.


You have been influential on me
You have put potential in me
You have given me words of wisdom that alter my life
You have taught me what was good
You have given me hope for what I can work for
Hope for what I can work for
Hope I know I can achieve
There ain’t no stopping me
Because I’ve got better things to do in life
It’s all about the trust; it’s all about the trust

- Justin's Story: Residential Services

Thirteen year-old Justin has been deprived of a secure, loving home for most of his life. He has experienced both physical and emotional abuse from people he should have been able to trust. He has severe depression, a hard time managing his anger and impulses and very low self-esteem. His troublesome behaviour has created grave difficulties for him at home, at school and with the law.

It seemed as though there was no place else for Justin to turn for help so he came to Lutherwood, his home now for six months. Justin has been receiving help in many ways - building his self-esteem, learning about trusting relationships and developing social skills. An accurate medical diagnosis with the right medications has made a big difference for Justin. His family is receiving some needed help too.

Hopefully, Justin will soon be able to return to live in the community, equipped with a more positive sense of self and new behaviours for success. But, for now, Lutherwood is his home - the place where he sleeps, eats, learns and plays.

Your donations are put right to work helping kids create their own future, like the young people above. You can donate now, and be part of their story of healing. Thank you!