Most of us remember the feeling of graduating from high school and the excitement of thinking about what comes next. For Braeden Lightfoot of Windsor Junction, NS, celebrating his high school graduation this year was something that seemed nearly impossible as he began to seriously struggle with his mental health during his Grade 10 year.
Braeden became withdrawn. It was difficult for him to get out of bed and do the things he loved. His friends noticed too and voiced their concerns to the school nurse. She was very worried and connected the Lightfoots with the IWK.
Adolescent Intensive Services (AIS)—a day treatment program through the IWK—was a turning point for Braeden. He began the program in March 2020, but two days later the pandemic shut the facility down. Care quickly shifted online and Braeden attended virtual sessions each day for individual therapy, group therapy and school support. This continued until August when he was able to start attending AIS in-person.
Braeden completed the program in the fall of 2020 and continued to receive follow-up care for several more months. He says the program not only helped him with his mental health, but with his studies and other aspects of his life. Thanks to the support he received, he’s grateful to be back to being an active participant in his life.