Elizabeth Conlon & Julian

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My name is Elizabeth Conlon.  I am part of a dedicated private nonprofit organization, NFI (North American Family Institute).  As a Registered Nurse, I work in NFI’s  intensive residential program located at the Worcester Recovery Center Hospital, the Worcester Adolescent Recovery Center.    Our mission is to provide a therapeutic milieu for children ages 13 to 19.  Our work is based on a philosophy known as the normative approach, which emphasizes the ability of all people to achieve positive change when they are members of a community unified by its mission and purpose.  The holistic and innovative services of NFI are tailored to individual client needs and help adolescents identify and build upon their strengths, emphasizing family work and community reintegration.  The adolescents are greatly supported in this work by the relationships they form with staff, including service animals.

Childhood trauma and mental illness affect a large number of teenagers in Massachusetts.  Anxiety, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disease can be just as debilitating to teenagers and devastating to their families as a physical disability.  Mental illness severely compromises a teenager’s ability to cope in day to day social, emotional, and academic situations. 

I am asking for your donations to obtain a service dog through NEADS for my organization.  This special dog will become a valued part of our team, helping on a daily basis these struggling adolescents.  Assistance dogs have been utilized in mental health facilities as early as the 1700’s, and are valued today for their unique ability to facilitate the therapeutic recovery pathway for traumatized and mentally ill adolescents.  A silent withdrawn teenager is often able to relax and participate in treatment more readily with a therapeutic dog present. 

My sincerest thanks!