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I know what it’s like to experience the agony of a mental health crisis in the family. But, I have also experienced the miracle of our family’s story being rewritten. I believe in hope.

When my son was six years old he was diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and ADHD. By the time he was eight years old, he was suicidal. We spent most of his childhood without the tools or resources to parent him in the ways that he needed.

Depression for my son showed up as anger, and we had no idea how to handle this. When we brought him to the hospital and the psychologist asked me what I would do when he would throw fits of rage, I explained to her,

“I send him to his room.”

I would tell him when he was ready to be a good boy he could come out.

She then said something that has changed everything for our family. She replied,

“O no. you never send the hurting away from you; you bring them closer.”

After a three week stay in the hospital, and feeling desperate to see our son heal, I was willing to try bringing him closer. When he would throw a fit of rage, instead of sending him to his room, I kept him in the same room as me. I sat with him in the rage, in the mess and would tell him, “Son, we are willing to walk with you through this. You belong in our home. Nothing will break our connection with you. We will fight with you until you are healed and whole.”

It took a year of showing up consistently like this, but then a miracle happened.

Our son’s rages disappeared and when he would experience a large emotion, all we needed to do was put our arms around him and he would regulate.

This opened my eyes to how much hope there is for our young people to overcome the mental health crisis they are facing today.

The question is, “HOW?” How do we bring our young ones to a place of health?

Read more about Connie here.

I believe in hope. Connie invited my voice to the table with The National Hope Movement. We’d love to have you join the conversation to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

Hope grows here.  We share stories that inspire people, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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