All kids deserve kind, safe, welcoming places to grow.

Discover lessons, inspiration and hope

Every day, we witness stories of compassion and resilience where kids rise up and through the aftermath of trauma, surviving childhood challenges and the stressors of today’s life. This is the impact of our mission fueled by a compassionate and dedicated staff and a generous community of donors.

Finding hope along life’s journey

At age 16, Jon was beginning to discover more about his identity and the young adult he was becoming. He started to explore his trans identity, while working to educate his mother on pronouns, trans rights and how to navigate transphobia, homophobia and bias against sexual and gender identity.

When it became harder to manage, he struggled with depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The demands on him to experience his own transition, face stigma and manage his mother’s reaction to his identity became overwhelming.

After a near suicide attempt, Jon’s Washburn Center crisis therapist supported him in managing multiple stressors. The therapist gave Jon’s mom a space to learn and talk, while paving the way for Jon to work on what he needed to heal. The therapist supported Jon and his mother as they navigated complex family and societal systems as he transitioned.

While his journey continues, Jon’s suicidal thoughts are less frequent, and he’s gained new skills to manage life as he lives into his full potential.

Sense of safety smooths out stress

Sophia’s mom and caregivers sought help after a particularly scary moment where Sophia ran away from her day care center. Recognizing that Sophia’s behavior was signaling something bigger, Sophia’s day care provider reached out to Washburn Center

For Sophia, this meant having the adults understand that transitions brought on big feelings that she didn’t know how to express. She often felt unsafe when she was without her mom for long stretches.
Through the help of her therapist, Sophia learned safe ways to manage her overwhelming feelings and her caregivers developed skills to make the transitions smoother. With a new day care plan in place, Sophia’s mom gained confidence that more stable days were ahead.

Worry gets a name and takes a backseat

Ten-year-old Phoebe can now put the future in perspective and manage through the worries of today using the techniques she learned from her Washburn Center therapist. That wasn’t always the case as severe anxiety created difficult days and often affected her ability to sleep and find peace even in the safety of her own room.
With the help of her therapist, Phoebe named her worry – Whirligig – because it made her feel like the world was whirling out of control. So much had changed and she was feeling life was turning upside down.
Her Washburn Center therapist helped tap into her resiliency and inherent strengths to help balance the fear and anxiety. Now, she sleeps and dreams with ease – and she’s even looking forward to her next encounter with therapy. As the very wise and mature 10-year-old was wrapping up a recent series of sessions and saying goodbye to her therapist she said, “I’ll see you again when I’m a teenager. I’ve heard that’s a really tough time. I’m probably going to need a therapist to get through that.”

Rebuilding family stability

After 11-year-old Ollie’s parents divorced, the family was split apart. Ollie’s depression was deepening and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) mounted. Ultimately, Ollie didn’t see much hope and started expressing suicidal thoughts. Ollie met a Washburn Center therapist who works with families in their home to work through intensive anxiety and challenges that affect home and school life.

The transforming therapy was rooted in healthy skills to reduce negative emotions and increase family and community support. Ollie’s mom noticed that with tools and techniques learned through therapy, they could catch early signals of struggle.

They’ve built a new foundation based on love and support of one another — reinforced with stabilizing therapeutic care through Washburn Center.