Resilient Kid

My brother, Jimmy, was just telling me about his ten year-old son’s friend from school, whose dad was killed in car accident last year. My first response was to feel terrible for this kid. The reason Jimmy brought it up, though, was to remark on how well the boy and his mother seem to be dealing with it seven months down the track.

Of course, I don’t doubt that it’s still extremely hard for them, but according to Jimmy, it appears that they’re both managing to get by and enjoy life. He believes it’s to do with the sessions they’ve been having at a local mental health clinic, and the fact that the mum had the foresight to get them both in there fast, despite her life seemingly falling apart at the time.

I don’t know what clinic they went to but I reckon there must be some pretty decent psychology services on the Mornington Peninsula. Either that or the mum is extremely on the ball emotionally. How else do you explain this kid’s exceptional degree of adjustment to his circumstances and ability to speak openly and reflectively on the subject? I guess it’s probably due to a combination of both influences.

I know that Jimmy is especially interested in this kind of thing because he’s had his fair share of mental health issues, to the extent of seeing a psychiatrist for assistance with depression and alcohol dependency. This was a good 20 years ago, and I’m not sure that he had the best experience with the care he received. I’m sure that, at least here in Mornington, psychiatry has improved since then, as with many aspects of the medical model of mental healthcare.

A lot of the clinics that I’ve seen around seem to be taking a more holistic approach, with allied health modalities being centrally involved in treatment plans. Things like dietetics and social work are now considered significant in working alongside psychology and psychiatry to improve patients’ wellbeing, which absolutely makes sense.