Accepting help can be difficult, especially when it’s needed most. For Ena, accepting help allowed her to change the trajectory of her life.

At an early age, Ena suffered from depression and anxiety. Ena experienced bullying throughout her childhood; her classmates often bullied her for wearing boys clothing, hanging out with boys, and being involved in sports.

“When I was at my lowest point, I didn’t know who I was,” said Ena. Prior to this, Ena was a child athlete competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. However, Ena’s mental health worsened after a car crash and she began to experience PTSD, separation anxiety, severe depression, and panic disorder. By grade 7, the former child athlete started missing school entirely and gave up the sports she loved. Ena’s mental health reached a point where she began to suffer from sleep deprivation and resulting hallucinations. Ena then found the courage to tell her mom about her mental health challenges. Together, they worked with private therapists, but soon realized the care provided wasn’t the right fit.

Ena was later referred to Surrey Memorial Hospital’s START program. By the time she reached Grade 9, Ena was transferred to the Adolescent Day Treatment Program (ADTP) at Surrey Memorial Hospital, where things began to take a positive turn.

The various treatments and staff at ADTP helped Ena’s journey immensely. One of the many therapy treatments at ADTP included Fitness Therapy. This form of therapy allowed Ena to feel comfortable enough to get back into physical activity because of the great support she received.

Ena is also an artist. At ADTP, she discovered how creative and expressive she can be. After receiving Art Therapy at ADTP, Ena feels she can be free to express herself through her artwork. She no longer paints from reference photos and does not feel the need to create for others—she creates art for herself.

At ADTP, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Group Therapy were also important for Ena’s recovery. “Getting to hear other people’s stories and experiences, and being able to relate it to mine really helped,” said Ena. Family Therapy, which allowed Ena’s parents to learn how to support Ena in her journey, was another key component.

Today, Ena is 17 years old and graduating soon. She is now a dog owner and passed her driver’s test in a single try. In her last year of high school, Ena is currently applying for a wide range of scholarships, bursaries, and grants to support her dream of becoming a high school art teacher and role model.

Ena and her family believe that none of this would have been conceivable prior to attending ADTP and learning the tools needed to support Ena in her daily life. They are grateful for the ADTP team for giving Ena the space and support she needed to find herself and continue to grow.