Exhaling (息出し)

When Alyssa* first joined Young Adult Services (YAS), her depression and anxiety had become such an impairment that she struggled to get out of bed each day and was afraid to attend her own high school graduation. She chose to pull herself out of bed to meet with her brand new YAS Clinician, made a step-by-step plan for how to manage her anxiety at her graduation and walked across the stage to receive her diploma with the rest of her graduating class.

Alyssa has been persevering with YAS support ever since. Her journey has been one of inspiring determination and willingness to learn and grow as she’s collaborated with her Case Manager to learn everything from budgeting skills to researching college courses, partnered with her Vocational Coordinator to explore both volunteer and paid positions, and took advantage of YAS social activities as a way to practice coping skills around her social anxiety and low self-esteem.

After 2 years of hard work and dedication, Alyssa successfully completed the Pharmacy Technician program at Quinebaug Valley Community College, accepted a Paid Work Experience position at the YAS Club House, moved into her first apartment and began participating in Super Advocates, a 12-week training course to help young adults with mental illness and/or addiction issues learn how to further their recovery and provide peer support and hope to other young adults with mental health and/or addiction issues.

It has been quite a battle for Alyssa to manage her own mental illness while coping with on-going medical issues and family conflicts, and there were many times when she hit the “off” button on her alarm clock and pulled the blanket over her head to shut out the world.

But with the strength of her will and the support of her YAS team coaxing her on from the sidelines, Alyssa continues to throw that blanket off to greet each new day!


*name changed to protect privacy