Project Strengthen

The Family Institute (TFI) launched Project Strengthen to meet the demand of high quality care to underserved individuals and families who suffer from multiple mental health disorders (such as anxiety and substance abuse) alongside socio-economic and cultural barriers to much-needed care.

Project Strengthen gives the highest level of care TFI can offer: a therapy team comprised of a Family Institute staff therapist and therapist-in-training working together to provide comprehensive therapy and counseling services.

Project Strengthen care is offered at little or no cost to the clients through the Bette D. Harris Family and Child Clinic.  



ProjectStrengthen infographic FOR WEB
Jane, a single mother in her 40s with two children, suffered from abuse from her mother, compounded by a severe injury and hospitalization which depleted her income and ability to take care of her children. Splitting from her boyfriend, Jane, her 12 year old daughter Annie and her 15 year old son, Rick, moved in and out of friends' homes. 
The impact of Jane's accident coupled with the breakup of the family structure and their moving in and out of friends' homes took a toll on the children, especially Annie. Annie withdrew from her mother and brother and started hoarding, stealing and having problems in school. They finally saught help at TFI. Through Project Strengthen, they began their family therapy sessions. Family therapy sessions allowed both Jane and Annie to openly discuss their anxieties and fears. When Annie’s brother attended, they were all able to begin the process of strengthening their relationships. 
To further consider what might be troubling Annie, the therapists recommended she be tested in the Institute’s Assessment program. The results of the testing indicated a slight learning disability as well as depression. School intervention was suggested, and the TFI assessor met with school personnel to discuss what Annie needed. Subsequent conversations with Jane focused on her own depression and anxiety. Jane used her individual sessions to free herself of some of the guilt she carried about her own life choices, and the therapist recommended her dad come in and talk about their relationship. Her depression began to lift, as did her anxiety around being a good mother. 
Annie’s school performance stabilized and she began to get closer to her mother, even seeking Jane out to spend time with her. Although the family remains in therapy, the work the staff therapist and the therapists-in-training have done has better positioned the family to cope with the challenges that lie ahead.
Call 847-733-4300, ext. 263 to make an appointment. 

Project Strengthen is made possible through the generosity of the
Harris Family Foundation and the Howard and Jackie Shapiro Foundation.