Proud Patient Champion for the Meaningful Miles Challenge!
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Hometown: Powell, OH
Age: 17 years old
Diagnosis: Major Depressive Disorder
Bridgette was 14 years old during her first visit to Nationwide Children's Hospital. She was evaluated for suicidal ideation and was sent home with a safety plan.
One year later, Brigette was admitted to a Behavioral Health Hospital. Next was a weekend stay and Intensive Outpatient Program at Butterfly Gardens, what is now the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion. Bridgette’s most recent inpatient stay at Nationwide Children’s was a turning point. Each of the steps before brought progress, but the ten days inpatient with the Nationwide Children’s Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program was different.
The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally designed to treat chronically suicidal patients but has evolved to show effectiveness in treating a wide range of mental health disorders. The program serves adolescents aged 13-18 who typically struggle with emotional regulation, interpersonal relationships, self-harm behaviors or suicidal ideation.
During Bridgette’s last inpatient hospitalization, she spent time on the Psychiatry floor. She developed friendships with some of the other younger patients who made a lasting impact on her journey to recovery. Bridgette says, “Nationwide Children’s brought out a sense of confidence in me. I wasn’t afraid to ask for help and because of this I am truly a much better and happier person.”
Bridgette’s family couldn’t be more grateful for the programs she has participated in and the different ways her parents were included. Bridgette’s mom, Mandy, says, “We tried to help her on our own for quite some time and didn’t have the skills needed. If we didn’t take the time to try a variety of programs, Bridgette wouldn’t be where she is today. The work isn’t easy, and we had to keep persevering and doing what was needed because each time it was different.”
Bridgette’s been in private therapy since January 2019. Every day is challenging, but she has found ways to help her cope. Bridgette enjoys playing softball, reading, ceramics, photography, writing and working with kids. She loves laughing, practicing yoga, giving back to Nationwide Children's Hospital and starting an open conversation with teens struggling with mental health.
“Without Nationwide Children’s I would not be the person I am today. I would not have learned how to deal with everyday problems or how to be a decent person. Thank you for giving me hope, for being patient with me, for never giving up on me and my family,” says Bridgette.
Bridgette will be smiling and cheering on all the participants in the Meaningful Miles Challenge in 2020 and can’t wait to see you on the racecourse in 2021.
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