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Impact Stories

Our clients come to Masada to begin their journey towards emotional wellness. With the compassionate help of our teams, they develop the strength and tools to thrive in life and in their communities. Their stories are inspiring to all.

Meaningful Support During Difficult Times

Mario and Rose were first introduced to Masada’s Wraparound Program in October of 2019. At age sixteen, Mario had been dealing with feelings of depression and hopelessness, and fears that he would not live up to the expectations that he felt were placed on him.

Mario had suffered trauma and loss in his past, and he worried about losing his current guardian, Rose. When Rose would try to reach out to Mario, he would push her away. Finally, one fall day in 2019, Mario texted Rose to let her know he was in crisis and needed help.

picture of rose and mario

From that moment, Mario began his path to hope and recovery from depression. Both Rose and Mario embraced the Wraparound Process, fully participating in all of the aspects of the program that strive to meet the needs of families and build upon their natural strengths and supports.

When Rose speaks of her experience with Masada’s Wraparound team, she appreciates how sensitive and understanding they were to hers and Mario’s needs. Rose said that Mario’s therapist was very patient and allowed Mario to set the pace. Over time, Mario became comfortable opening up to his therapist and they developed a trusting relationship. Rose said that Mario’s CFS was like a big sister to him, someone who he could look up to for encouragement. For herself, Rose felt that her Parent Partner was always happy to be there for her, and Rose always felt welcome to reach out for help, never feeling like she was a burden. Rose feels that the Wraparound Team truly cares about her and Mario, and she came to love each one of them.

Mario has made great progress and has graduated from the Wraparound Program. Rose reports that Mario continues to be an excellent student who looks forward to going to college. He is a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and is well on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. Masada is so very proud to have been a small part of Mario’s life. We know that Mario has what it takes to follow his dreams and reach his goals. We are happy to have been able to provide meaningful support during such a difficult time in their lives. Masada congratulates Mario and Rose on their hard work and commitment to the Wraparound process, and wish them both well in the future!

Life Has Its Ups and Downs -“J”

During the Months of January and February of 2020 clients at the Norwalk Adult Mental Health Treatment Center worked with the Masada Homes Occupational Therapy department to create an art wall to beautify the facility and to give it a welcoming and personal touch.

They were asked to choose a word or phrase for their artwork that described what they felt they had gained or learned during the course of their treatment. Each client was given paints and a canvas and allowed to choose from canvases of various sizes. Clients painted individually and during group sessions.

picture of paintings on a wall in our norwalk office

One of those clients was J., a quiet, soft spoken 18 year old female. J. suffers from severe anxiety and often needs frequent prompts to become involved with tasks around the facility, answers others in one or two words and has a habit of pacing and avoiding interaction with others. Recently, she was experiencing a setback in her treatment, exhibiting more frequent and pronounced pacing and bouts of emotional lability including crying for no obvious reason.

J. was initially resistant, but upon seeing the group painting and laughing she slowly joined the room and began to choose paints. With the help of her OT, Lauren, J was able to choose the word LIFE as the subject of her painting. During the project, J. was noted to be in a vibrant and gregarious mood compared to her normal demeanor and she expressed proudly to her OT, in a full sentence, that she loved painting and wanted to paint again soon.

Upon completion, the project was presented to the group and family members. Clients were given a microphone to share what their project meant to them. Unexpectedly J. volunteered first and with a big smile announced to the group that she was proud of her project and had chosen the word life because “life has its ups and downs.”

J. has had her ups and downs since then, but she has gravitated more towards art as a means to express herself and draw her into social engagement and group activities in ways she was not able to do previously.

Masada Was a Light at the End of the Tunnel

17 year old G. H. has been receiving Individual Therapy, Psychiatric and Parent Partner services in our Rancho Cucamonga office. She was struggling with poor school performance, lack of relationship support, low self-esteem, negative self-talk, sleep disturbances and nightmares related to her past trauma. She was also dealing with medical challenges and was losing hope that she could live a normal life. G.H. was in treatment for 16 months, and offered her impressions of her treatment experience with Masada.

Young hispanic woman and her teenage daughter hugging

"Masada's program linked me with a kind, compassionate therapist (Judy). She has helped me work through severe complex physical and emotional trauma and helped me be able to heal from years of pain. The Masada mental health team taught me healthy coping mechanisms to deal with emotional as well as physical pain. I was also provided with an open-minded psychiatrist (Dr. Kagan) who provided med support that has changed my life. When other medical professionals were at a loss, she allowed me to live a normal life, as someone with an autoimmune and mental disorder. Above all Masada made me feel comfortable and provided me with support I could not get anywhere else. They gave me a light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to, when all of my hope was lost."

Lisseth’s Life Depicts Perseverance, Resilience, and Success

Lisseth’s journey with Masada Homes began in 2019 when she was enduring feelings of hopelessness and believed everything was pointless. During that time, Lisseth experienced aggressive behavior, isolation, and coped through self-harm. Two years later, Lisseth’s quality of life has improved drastically. With the help of her family and the team at Masada Homes, Lisseth’s life depicts perseverance, resilience, and success.

Here is what she had to say during her interview with Occupational Therapist, Dr. Lillian Garcia:

graduation picture of miss lisseth

How has Masada Homes supported your journey?

I started feeling better a year into treatment. It took a long time, it wasn’t easy. The thing that helped me the most was being open without being judged and having people be understanding and compassionate of my feelings.

What helped you overcome your challenges?

It was a matter of talking it out. Family therapy helped a lot and it helped my mom understand me better. My mom became more compassionate and understanding.

How did you persevere to get to where you are?

A lot of it is due to what I went through with my dad. His drinking, drugs, seeing how his life turned out, and picking substances over me. I went through life trying to figure it out. There wasn’t sunshine and rainbows everyday. I also used people’s negative comments as motivation to prove them wrong. My father was also my motivation. I wanted to do things to make him proud because I knew he’d hear about it. I wanted to give myself a reason to live. I wanted to make him proud so that maybe he would change.

How would you describe your life now?

I’M THRIVING! I’m on the Superintendent’s Honor Roll. If I told my 9th grade self that I was going to graduate high school and attend my dream university, I’d laugh in your face and say you’re crazy because there was no way a person like me, so broken, was going to make it. Now, I can’t believe I’m here, it feels great. I went from feeling like a disappointment, to now seeing that things get better no matter how bad they may get. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I have the tools now to deal with challenging times due to a combination of all my therapists working together.

Hard Work and Dedication to Meet Goals

Melanie has been receiving services at Masada Homes since February of 2022. And since then, our therapist and client have been working on learning new coping strategies to increase engagement and communication. Due to her openness and participation in treatment, Melanie has made immense progress: She demonstrates insight into triggers and has been able to apply the learned skills from treatment to real-life situations.

Melanie Masada Success Story
Additionally, her caregiver has been extremely supportive and has shown dedication and commitment to both Melanie’s overall well-being and commitment to the team. The Masada team is very proud of Melanie’s hard work and dedication to meeting her goals. It has been our pleasure working with this family and seeing how much they have grown and how cohesive their family dynamic has become.

Apply Learned Skills by Utilizing Coping Skills

Manolo is a well-educated, talented, and resilient 17-year-old student who has made immense progress in the past couple years at Masada Homes. He has faced many challenges, but in the past two years, Manolo has pushed himself to remain consistent in achieving his goals. He has been able to apply his learned skills by utilizing his coping skills, verbalizing his needs, and participating in several social activities that have developed his confidence and social skills.
Manolo Masada Client Success Story
Manolo has engaged in many extracurricular activities including singing in choral concerts, participating in leadership programs, and engaging in rap performances. He will now be attending Long Beach Community College this fall and is striving to become a successful businessman. The Masada team is very proud of Manolo’s hard work, and we know he has great potential, wisdom, and talents that will take him far in succeeding and achieving his long term goals.
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