I am writing in regards to the opinion column written by Dr. Richard Elghammer. I am currently an addiction counselor with a background of working in foster care. After reading this column, I felt compelled to submit my opinion on the topic as well. I completely agree with the basis of the article — family therapy is needed in order to stop the broken cycle of broken people producing broken people essentially. Working and going to school in the social work field, I too see the tremendous benefits that family therapy can provide to alleviate patterns of family trauma.
I think what is also beneficial to addressing mental health needs — is the wrap around approach. Due to many federal funding cuts to mental health services, many mental health needs are being unmet. I think in this case specifically, wrap around services for Alicia as well as her family are much needed to provide positive and healthy results long term. Not only would family therapy be beneficial, but addiction/drug education, mental health information regarding Alicia’s mother. Has her mother been diagnosed with any mental health disorders? What could the school be doing to help Alicia? Are there local organizations that she could benefit from as well?
Again, in this case, I feel as though family therapy is a big part of solving the problem, but that is the tip of the iceberg. In this area in particular there are limited resources to help people in these situations. As counselors, we can provide a band-aid to the issues, but that is only part of the problem-solving method. It’s very sad that cases like Alicia’s go essentially “unresolved” due to lack of wrap around services that could ultimately benefit families.