Cincinnati Children's expands mental health services for children and young adults

Cincinnati Children’s expands mental health services for children and young adults

Christina Whelan and husband Mike shared their son Joe’s story with WLWT on Tuesday. “His biggest goal was to be just an ordinary kid,” Whelan said. Judging strictly by the photos of his young life, it seemed that he had already achieved his goal. “Smart as a whip and funny as can be,” she recalls. “A sweet, curious, insightful little guy. He just had this little sparkle and personality that was just adorable.” Glancing at his broad smiles while holding a baseball, a fish he caught, or a live turkey, it all seemed to fit his world. Behind Joe’s expressively happy face were an eating disorder and the mental scars of being sexually abused as a child. His parents suspected a trusted relative with whom they are no longer in contact. They said that because their son would not testify about it, criminal charges could not be pursued. Around the age of 12, his parents noticed their son’s nightmares, increased anxiety and behavioral changes. He finally revealed the root cause and years of intermittent hospitalization and ongoing treatment as well as 24/7 monitoring at home. Joe’s parents took turns sleeping on the floor next to him trying to make sure he stayed safe. literally locking boxes all over our house with knives, scissors, forks, a dog leash – anything he could use to harm himself was locked away,” his mother said. According to his parents, he managed to hide everything from his high school classmates. at Newport Central Catholic, where he raced across the country and graduated with honors. A scholarship holder at NKU, he specialized in neuroscience. After turning 20, COVID-19 hit and disrupted her routine, creating social isolation. Two years and a week ago, on September 14, 2020, he said he was heading to class. “And about four o’clock that afternoon, Mike came downstairs and said, ‘Joe called pawnshops and gun shops,'” Christina recalls sweetly. “He had his location turned off.” Joe committed suicide that day. Near a church in the woods is where her body was found by police.Cincinnati Children’s in College Hill is building a new facility to improve mental health treatment and prevention.It is a project of $105 million that the Whelans are, in a sense, helping to build through their history. “So for them, I think, to take their pain and their suffering and really put it as an inspiration to help others, it’s just a great gift for all of us,” said Dr. Michael Sorter, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at CCHMC, said. He hopes to eliminate the social stigma of mental illness as a generational shift occurs. “Young people seem to be more open to that and open to discussions and more, you know, ready to share their own pain but also to listen to the pain of others,” Dr Sorter said. inflection where really good things can happen if we keep trying to improve our systems of care.” Those systems will benefit from a concert at the Aronoff Center on Oct. 7, when Andy Grammer is in town talking about his health issues. All proceeds from this event will go to Cincinnati Children’s to specifically support treatment and prevention programs for children and teens Joe’s father said anyone prone to abusing others should face their own demons and getting help instead of ruining other people’s lives.” We see all the time that people who haven’t, haven’t minded their own business, they pass it on to others and a big part of the cruelty in the world comes from these places,” he said. “So we need more people to deal with it and we need more people to take it seriously.” If you or someone you know needs help, you can speak with Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or you can chat online here.

Christina Whelan and husband Mike shared their son Joe’s story with WLWT on Tuesday.

“His biggest goal was to be just an ordinary kid,” Whelan said.

Judging strictly by the photos of his young life, it seemed that he had already achieved his goal.

“Smart as a whip and funny as can be,” she recalls. “A sweet, curious, insightful little guy. He just had this little sparkle and personality that was just adorable.”

Glancing at his broad smiles while holding a baseball, a fish he caught, or a live turkey, it all seemed to fit his world.

Behind Joe’s expressively happy face lay an eating disorder and the mental scarring of being sexually abused as a child.

His parents suspect a trusted relative with whom they are no longer in contact.

They said that because their son would not testify about it, criminal charges could not proceed.

Around the age of 12, his parents noticed their son’s nightmares, increased anxiety and behavioral changes. He finally revealed the root cause and years of intermittent hospitalization and ongoing treatment as well as 24/7 home monitoring.

Joe’s parents took turns sleeping on the floor next to him trying to make sure he stayed safe.

“We literally had locked boxes all over our house with knives, scissors, forks, a dog leash – anything he could use to harm himself was locked away,” his mother said.

According to his parents, he managed to hide everything from his classmates at Newport Central Catholic High School, where he raced across the country and graduated with honors.
A scholarship holder at NKU, he specialized in neuroscience.

After turning 20, COVID-19 hit and disrupted her routine, creating social isolation.

Two years and a week ago, on September 14, 2020, he said he was heading to class.

“And, around four in the afternoon, Mike came in and said, ‘Joe called pawnshops and gun shops,’ Christina recalls softly. “He had his locator turned off.

Joe committed suicide that day. Near a church in the woods, this is where his body was found by the police.

Cincinnati Children’s at College Hill is building a new facility to improve mental health treatment and prevention.

It’s a $105 million project that the Whelans are, in a sense, helping to build through their history.

“So for them, I think, to take their pain and their suffering and really spread it as an inspiration to help others, it’s really a great gift for all of us,” said Dr. Michael Sorter, Director child and adolescent psychiatry. at CCHMC, said.

He hopes to eliminate the social stigma of mental illness as a generational shift occurs.

“Young people seem to be more open to that and open to discussions and more, you know, ready to share their own pain but also to listen to the pain of others,” Dr Sorter said. “We are at an inflection point here where very good things can happen if we keep trying to improve our healthcare systems.”

These systems will benefit from a concert at the Aronoff Center on October 7, when Andy Grammer is in town and talks about his mental health struggles.

All proceeds from this event go to Cincinnati Children’s to specifically support treatment and prevention programs for children and adolescents.

Joe’s father said anyone prone to abusing others should face their own demons and get help instead of ruining other people’s lives.

“We see it all the time that people who haven’t, haven’t taken care of their own stuff, they pass it on to others and a lot of the cruelty in the world comes from those places,” said- he declared. “So we need more people to deal with it and we need more people to take it seriously.”

If you or someone you know needs help, you can speak with Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or you can chat online here.

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