- CASSY, Counseling and Support Services for Youth, is another charity supported by this year’s WWW luncheon fundraiser and has played an important role in ensuring the emotional and social well-being of many students at Bay Area schools. CASSY partners with local schools to provide therapists that offer counseling, crisis intervention, and proactive mental health education. One such student needed someone to lean on when he lost his mother at only 9 years old. Here is Luis’ story.
Megan, CASSY Therapist, received word from the principal of the school she works in: one of their students had lost his mother.
When Luis was nine, he and his mother, Camilla, visited his brother in college. While visiting, Luis expressed feeling sad to his mother, missing his friends and his dad. Camilla wanted Luis to be happy and decided to end their trip early. Tragically, Camilla had an undiagnosed heart condition and died suddenly on the trip home.
“When I met Luis, he asked, ‘Why did this have to happen?‘ He was questioning and felt it was very unfair that he had lost his mom. He had also lost his home due to the change in family income. He didn’t want to talk to anyone about what happened,” said Megan.
Megan met weekly with Luis, where they did art while talking. Luis shared that he felt guilty; if he hadn’t wanted to come home so badly, maybe his mom wouldn’t have died. He shared that he did not have a photo of his mom to look at when he missed her. Megan got to work and helped him find a photo, which is now displayed where Luis can always see it. Luis also used this time to write a letter to his mom, telling her how much he missed her.
Luis’ dad, Marco, also met with Megan and shared that he works three jobs to make ends meet, making school based counseling services the only option for Luis, and was concerned that Luis expressed that he wanted to die. Megan worked with Marco and Luis around communicating and talking about mom, and how Luis felt scared to get close to his dad, worrying that he would lose him too.
“This year, Luis is focused on school, more at peace, and spends time with his friends. He’s engaged and smiles a lot more,” Megan tells us. She continues to see him weekly, where they make paper airplanes and talk about how difficult holidays are without his mom.
Luis is one of the 33,000 students within the CASSY mental health safety net in communities around the Bay Area
[This is an original post to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 28th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose.]