Tuesday, April 13, 2010


C and I and one of our Respite Workers headed to CPRI yesterday. Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) is the tertiary children and adolescent mental health centre for our Region. The Ministry designated CPRI as a "tertiary care centre" which means a) families are only supposed to go there for service when they have exhausted all means of care in their home community and (b) service can be intense but is supposed to be brief and then you are "transitioned" back to your home community service provider. I LOVE CPRI.

I have LOVED it and all the people who work there ever since I first spoke to an intake worker there on the phone in 2004. For the last year or two I have been thinking, at some point I will inevitably meet someone who works there who I don't click with, or who doesn't click with C or who is inept, or even that they will be less than stellar.

Hasn't happened

Don't get me wrong. We have had some very dedicated and skilled professionals in our own city. The difficulty is that we also have "professionals" who still believe that children "like mine" ultimately will NEED to spend a great deal of time in restraints and isolation and that I am in denial about what a lost cause my dear son truly is. They think I am naive and they shake their heads and give me this piteous look (that makes me want to slap them, but I don't, aren't you proud). We also don't have the funding in our community (who does) to provide ongoing training and supports and resources. Many of our providers here are behind the times when it comes to things like Tourette's, OCD, Attachment Disorders - oh, wait - all those diagnosis that C happens to have. I have hope that over time methods like Collaborative Problem Solving and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention will become the norm rather than the exception in our area. I believe that one day children like mine will be seen as having Neurological deficits rather than wilful misbehaviour.

But until that day comes, we rely on our services through CPRI. When we go to CPRI we feel accepted. We feel supported. We feel empowered and informed and involved. We feel HEARD. We feel validated. We know that they care and they understand. Even during those times where there is nothing tangible someone from CPRI can actually do at that moment for us - they listen, they empathise. And the last few months, when I hit rock bottom right along with my precious boy they carried some of the burden and most important of all -

they held out hope

they didn't promise quick fixes or even answers. They merely promised to care for my boy for a short time and to not abandon us while we worked through it. They offered to walk beside us, no matter where the road lead. They went on to value him and validate him and to strive to understand and connect with him. They treated him as a capable individual. They beamed when he entered a room and they saw AND celebrated his successes.

Most important to him was that they listened to him and they believed in him. Also that when he was feeling his most vulnerable and out of control they kept him safe, all the while maintaining his dignity.

We are so grateful for CPRI and all that they do. We are thankful that when it seems we have exhausted all avenues they always manage to come up with new plans to offer us - beacons of hope on those foggy hopeless days.

This one post cannot even convey how much they have done for our family.

Thank you CPRI


  1. allie1:33 PM

    I'm so happy to hear that not only someone, but some entire place, has been so positive for you and your family. I agree that many people seem to still think that a lot of stuff is willful and intentional when in children, but the same behaviours in adults is a mental health issue or other more 'respected' label. It's a weird double standard when we expect more out of kids than adults.

  2. wow we need some of those in this rural end of the province! Glad that they have been such a great support for you.

  3. Nice to hear about such good support. May you find more in your own community but meanwhile, build a good foundation with what CPRI has to offer. You deserve it!

    On another note, I hope you don't mind but I thoughtI would pass on an Honest Scrap Award to you. See my blog for details http://pamiseasilyamused.blogspot.com/2010/04/honest-scrap-award-thingy.html . You are a great writer and I'd love to see what you do with it but no pressure! Just ignore and let me know if you want me to remove the link.