When you meet Aubry, you meet a vibrant, creative, funny 11-year-old girl who loves video games, reading graphic novels, 4H, hanging out with her cat Tiger and her favorite librarian, and playing percussion in band. She also has anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – but they don’t define her.
Aubry would love for her fears to stop, but it isn’t that easy. She first started talking to the Behavioral Health team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital when she was in preschool, then took a break to see if symptoms would subside as she got older. When she was eight, Aubry and her family decided to resume care.
With the help of her clinician and staff at Nationwide Children’s, along with the support of her family, Aubry has worked hard to make many positive strides to cope with her anxiety and OCD.
“Nationwide Children’s has been there as a supportive organization for my daughter throughout her mental health issues. I look forward to working with the Behavioral Health team for as long as my daughter needs them. We want other families to not be afraid to speak up and acknowledge these issues in their own children. Ignoring issues and pushing them off for fear of someone judging you or your family is no way to live. The conversation starts with those of us that deal with mental health disorders, and we can carry that to our community,” says Aubry’s mom, Nikki.
For Aubry, she feels it’s important to represent kids like her so that other kids can be encouraged to talk to someone about how they feel and what’s going on inside their minds. She wants other kids to know that having mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of and that her own Anxiety and OCD do not define her as a person.
“Just because you need to go to counseling or therapy does not mean that there is anything wrong with you! Be yourself and be happy with who you are, including your quirks and weirdness. Being ‘normal’ is boring, anyway,” says Aubry.
As a national leader in childhood Behavioral Health research, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is pushing the field forward. An emotional, behavioral or developmental problem can be confusing for children and adolescents – and for those who love them. The Mood and Anxiety Program at Nationwide Children’s utilizes a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians that work with children and their families to address various mood and anxiety issues. Nationwide Children’s is in the process of constructing America’s largest behavioral health treatment and research center just for children and adolescents, set to open its doors in 2020.