Brianna’s Client Story

Brianna is a 15 year-old female who was suffering from depression. Unable to attend school due to high levels of social anxiety and chronic suicidal thoughts, her guardian felt it was imperative that Brianna not be left alone. Her guardian reached out to VOA (Volunteers of America) Care Crisis Line for help and was referred to the Compass Health CPIT (Crisis Prevention and Intervention Teams) program.

When the CPIT clinician and peer counselor arrived at the client’s house, Brianna was isolated in her bedroom and took several minutes to come out to speak with Compass Health staff. Brianna was withdrawn with averted eye contact and her voice was barely audible.

She gradually began to describe symptoms consistent with major depression: sleep and appetite issues, low motivation, high levels of anxiety, a depressed mood with suicidal thoughts of a plan to either overdose, cut her wrists or to hang herself.

Through the course of the assessment, Brianna let the Compass Health CPIT staff know that she was hearing voices telling her to end her life on a daily basis. The voices were also attacking Brianna’s self-esteem. It became clear that immediate resources were needed to help this young woman.

A call was placed to a Fairfax hospital, which specializes in treating adolescents in acute psychiatric distress.

Fortunately, they had a bed available and the appropriate steps were taken in order to secure placement for Brianna. Her guardian agreed to take Brianna directly to the hospital where the she stayed for seven days. Fairfax administered medication to treat the psychosis, depression, and anxiety symptoms that Brianna was experiencing. Brianna participated in group therapy with an emphasis on coping skills.

After 10 days Brianna returned home, the volume on the voices was turned down, her sleep was improved, and she was feeling that the group experience at the hospital had been especially effective.

However, as an individual who has experienced significant trauma, a chaotic childhood and a drug addicted parent, Brianna faced some serious challenges with ongoing stability.

The Compass Health CPIT team was again involved with this young woman just 10 days after her hospitalization.

Although there had been some visible changes, Brianna had ongoing suicidal thoughts. To complicate matters, her guardian was going out of town for four days and could not guarantee her safety.

Again, the hospital was called and a bed became available the next morning.

Brianna is safe and getting the necessary treatment and support, which includes both medication and therapy. Compass Health CPIT teams have reached out to Brianna several times since this experience to make sure she is stable and feeling supported in her environment.

Brianna has voiced her gratitude toward the Compass Health CPIT team when she was called for a follow up appointment.

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