Ryan

John and his son, Ryan, struggled with their relationship, and were both apprehensive to take responsibility for the tension and conflict at home. Ryan was fourteen years old when he and his father John entered the Connected Families NH FAST Forward program. John and Ryan’s mother were divorced, and she actively struggled with drug addiction and was not present in Ryan’s life. In a desperate attempt to save their father-son relationship, John enlisted the help of CFNH.

Ryan had a habit of frequently running away during bipolar episodes, and often used it as a tool to manipulate his father. John practiced a more authoritative parenting style, which Ryan responded negatively to, and would threaten to run away in response to his father’s attempts at disciplining. When he would run away, Ryan would typically go to a relative or friend, but as he got older and continued to associate with more troublesome peers, John feared he would begin turning to dangerous situations when he ran away – ultimately worried that Ryan would get mixed up with drugs and illegal activity.

At the start of their time in the FAST Forward program, Ryan and John were guided through identifying their urgent and long-term personal needs, and their overall needs as a family. At first, Ryan and John were both hesitant to fully engage with the individualized care plan that was established by their care coordinator and personal care team. After a month, both Ryan and his father began to warm up to the program. Their CFNH care team was consistent in establishing an honest and open environment for the father-son duo, and eventually they both began to open up and become more vulnerable. Ryan expressed that he felt that his father treated him like a baby, and resented being ordered around by him. Ryan’s father felt as though he had no choice but to communicate in that manner but was open to changing for his son.

Through the FAST Forward program, John and his son, Ryan, were able to access a myriad of support and resources for their needs. With the help of trained behavioral interventionists, licensed medical professionals, and collaboration with their dedicated care team, Ryan and John were able to learn new, healthy communication skills and how to manage conflict and stress in a productive manner. Ryan learned to be more understanding of his father’s concerns, and John learned to be more patient and loving when it came to communicating and supporting his son.

The FAST Forward program provided them with the safe and supportive environment they needed to foster a closer, healthier relationship. With the guidance of their care coordinator, Ryan and John learned how to maintain all their progress and feel confident in the future of their family thanks to CFNH.

About Connected Families NH   

Funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and contracted by the Bureau for Children’s Behavioral Health within New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services, Connected Families NH is a collaborative family-led program designed to improve the emotional health of children and young adults. We recognize the importance of emotional health and provide free, flexible services and support through our statewide and regional programs. Reach out or submit a referral to learn more about how Connected Families NH can help you. Connected Families NH is under the governance of Cheshire County. Connected Families NH is not an emergency service. If you or someone you care about is having a mental health or substance use crisis, you can call and speak to trained care staff at the NH Rapid Response Access Point at 833-710-6477 or 988 or NH988.com. 

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