During a recent interview, I was asked to sum up what we do at Craigwood, Children, Youth & Family Services in a single sentence.

Before I share my answer, I have to tell you that, after working with youth and their families for many years, countless stories and experiences went into shaping my response. As you can imagine, it is hard to envision how a single sentence could come close to encapsulating the many lives that I have had the privilege to be a part of, even if only for just a short period.

In fact, my personal story begins when I was a youth leader in my late teens, long before I became Executive Director at Craigwood. Over the 30 years that I have worked with youths and their families, to help them to move beyond the isolation and challenges of mental health issues and embrace the possibilities for a brighter tomorrow, mine has been a journey of dedication, more than simply a career path. It is a way of life and a mindset, reflecting similar values we have at Craigwood, that tell you that you are not alone when facing a challenge, you have untapped strengths and that others have been in your shoes before.

It is upon this experience, and the solid foundation of our proven programs through which we have achieved positive long-term outcomes for those who have sought our help, which my single sentence is based.

Of course, we are not alone in effecting the positive change that creates promising futures for the children, youth and their families who call upon Craigwood. The community and organizations who support our programs contribute a great deal to our success and continuing efforts in developing and validating best practices in the treatment and care of our young clients.

So what is the one sentence that I used to try and explain what Craigwood is all about? That, we strive to provide stability in place of uncertainty, and collaboration in place of conflict.

When I talk about stability, Craigwood provides a sure footing for youth and families in distress and turmoil while also modeling collaboration from a professional care and treatment standpoint.  These are both essential for moving beyond the issues and conflicts to see a way of hope down the road.  In this regard, we strive to empower individuals, families, and communities to rise above their immediate crisis and make a positive change towards a promising future.  It is through this empowerment that our work can be life-saving and life-changing for youth and their families.

At Craigwood, our vision is our passion, and I would like to thank Long View for sharing that passion with us through their generous support.

To learn more about Long View visit their website and check out their ACTIVATEDIGITAL 2018 Conference in Guelph this coming February. For more information on Craigwood Youth Services please visit the website.