More Than a Diploma
Student learned coping skills that helped her succeed
When Beatriz Medeiros first met the staff of Bradley Schools in 2011, she was in crisis. Suicidal thoughts, cutting, and panic attacks ruled her life. So did repeated hospitalizations.
As a child, Bea was diagnosed with ADHD and moved from school to school. She had problems adjusting and couldn’t achieve success as a student.
By her freshman year of high school, Bea was skipping class, was failing, and had given up on school and on herself.
For teens with behavioral health issues, interpersonal relationships and ordinary, day-to-day interactions with others can be overwhelming. The addition of academic pressures can make life seem unbearable, as it did for Bea.
“Bea is a good example of someone who needed a lot of support and a lot of help clinically, and it came not only from clinical staff, but from all the staff who worked with her,” said Greta Francis, PhD, clinical director of Bradley Schools.
The staff and doctors at school helped Bea realize she had sensory issues that she could control. She learned to use sensory items at her desk when needed and asked to go for walks as necessary. Bea asked for "check-ins" with staff and learned to calm herself.
Bea said senior year was her year to shine. “While I still attended therapy and continued my medication,” she said, “that was the year I was free of hospitals, free of shots to calm me down, and free of ‘the demon.’ Everything started to turn around. I began to help others at the Bradley School. I even started arts and crafts and wrote from time to time.”
As Bea’s senior year ended, she was worried about entering the real world alone, but she knew she could handle whatever life threw her way. Now 20 and working, Bea has a clear goal: “To be able to support myself financially and start my life in the real world independently.”
Bea is grateful to the Bradley School staff for their support and encouragement. “They never gave up on me,” she said, “and they helped shape me into the young woman I am today. I can't thank them enough.”