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Charlie Health Clients on the Decision to Seek Treatment

5 min.

Getting treatment for complex mental health challenges can be difficult. Charlie Health clients discuss how they decided to seek virtual Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP).

By: Charlie Health Editorial Team

Clinically Reviewed By: Don Gasparini Ph.D., M.A., CASAC

July 25, 2023


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Table of Contents

Trigger warning: Suicide.

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts and think you’re in danger of harming yourself, this is a mental health emergency. In this case, you should contact The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988.

The most challenging step in many people’s mental health journey is often the first: finding the correct kind of treatment. For people with more complex mental health challenges, this can be particularly difficult. We’ve heard anecdotes from Charlie Health clients who didn’t know where to turn during a depressive episode; others were on the brink of self-harming and couldn’t get a spot in a more intensive therapy program. Some young people learned about Charlie Health in the emergency room, where they ended up with nowhere else to turn after a bout of suicidal ideation (an increasingly common occurrence). 

We’re in the midst of a youth mental health crisis, and getting help can be challenging, especially for those who need more support than once-weekly therapy. Charlie Health is a solution. Below, we highlight four stories of people who hit their mental health breaking point and decided to enroll in Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), including Ashlyn, who learned about Charlie Health in the emergency room, and Siobhan, who went from “rock bottom” to the best mental health of their life with Charlie Health. 

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“I first realized I was struggling with depression when I was in college. That’s when I started to see an individual therapist. 

Around then, I experienced my first of many traumas. My boyfriend drowned suddenly. Then, I got pregnant, and my son was born three months early. He passed away. Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with infertility. I shut down and didn’t know how to process or deal with the emotions. For years I just muddled through and did individual therapy on and off again. 

Then, a couple of months ago, I noticed my mental health getting really bad. I was having suicidal ideation and isolating myself. I signed up for a residential facility but only stayed for part of the time. I felt that I’d gotten all I could out of that program. That residential facility referred me to Charlie Health. At first, I pretty much thought, ‘Here we go again with another group-based program.’ I didn’t have high hopes because, in the past, I didn’t really find groups very helpful. Once I started Charlie Health and was placed in my group, I could immediately tell that this was going to be different. The group was trauma-based, so everyone could relate to experiencing trauma, which was very different from what I’d experienced in the past.” 

– Kiana P., 33, Pennsylvania 

“Last year, I was having a hard time finding a therapist because of insurance issues, and my mental health got pretty bad. 

At the time, I’d returned to school, and it was super duper overwhelming. The demands were not good for me, and I ended up getting pretty depressed and anxious. School is so important to me. I’ve always defined myself by how well I do in school, and then, all of a sudden, I wasn’t doing well, and I knew that I couldn’t keep going. It wasn’t like I failed a class and could make it up the next quarter; I was in a really depressive state. I’ve been depressed before, and it sucks so bad. The fact that I knew what it felt like to feel better and was depressed again made it feel worse. 

I went to the emergency room when I was feeling suicidal, and they weren’t really sure what would be the best path for me. I was overwhelmed and confused because I didn’t know what to do either. The social worker there told me about Charlie Health, and it sounded like the best option. I finally felt a little optimistic because I thought I needed a higher level of care, and I realized this could be a long-term solution.”

– Anonymous, 20, Washington 

“In April, I went to the hospital because I had a seizure, and they asked me a question about my mental health. I answered truthfully. I wasn’t hurting myself, but I was thinking about it. 

There were a few times I almost ran into the bathroom and locked the door and hurt myself, but I didn’t actually do it. I share a room with my sister, so she would have known what was going on. I was already talking with a therapist, and then a therapist from the hospital told us about Charlie Health. I thought doing something virtually would be better than driving somewhere because coming back home late at night in the dark would have been a little hard. 

At first, Charlie Health felt like a lot in one week, but I grew to like it. I found kids in group therapy who I could relate to. I realized over time thanks to group that I wasn’t alone.”

— Ashlyn M., 13, Texas

“I went to a local individual therapist for about a year and made zero progress. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was dealing with PTSD, and my therapist was basically just asking me how my week was. Things got steadily worse. 

Toward the end of my time with her, I started to self-harm, and I went to inpatient treatment for three days. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I got no sleep and mostly just sat in a room watching TV. After I got out of there, I made plans to end my own life. 

My sister, who works in mental healthcare, suggested Charlie Health. She knew that after what I’d been through, driving to a place to have someone drill me with questions would freak me out a little. With Charlie Health, I went from rock bottom to the best my mental health has ever been.”

– Siobhan H., 24, Florida

Mental health support at Charlie Health 

If you feel like your mental health is hitting rock bottom, remember: help is available. Charlie Health’s compassionate mental health professionals are here to listen to your story, understand your needs, and match you with an appropriate treatment plan. Our personalized virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) offers mental health treatment for teens, young adults, and families dealing with various complex mental health challenges. Fill out our quick assessment to get started today.

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