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Emma Feels Optimistic for the First Time

Speaking with wisdom beyond her years and a clarity about her illness and treatment, Emma, 18, spoke candidly:

“I felt like I didn’t have a future. I thought that I would die before I was 18. Then I came to Bellevue and now I’m optimistic for the first time in my life.”

Earlier this year Emma spent six weeks in Bellevue Hospital Center to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After working with a team of doctors and therapists, Emma was stabilized but she wasn’t well enough to return to the stresses of high school. A new program at Bellevue called “partial hospitalization” allowed her to receive treatment in a medically supervised setting during the day and return home at night. It helped Emma take a step toward recovery while still being supported by expert staff.

“Something between crisis management and outpatient treatment was a way for me to solidify the improvements I’d made and then have the comforts of home and family in the evening,” said Emma.

Having suffered from PTSD since the fifth grade, Emma and her parents sought care in many settings, but it wasn’t until she came to Bellevue that her condition improved.

“At all the other hospitals there was an inclination to shy away when things got hard. They tended to medicate first and ignored my behavioral issues. At Bellevue, I actually received psycho-therapy. The doctors here helped me to process everything I’d been through. They really listened,” she said.

Emma credits her inpatient and outpatient therapists with helping her to move past her traumatic experiences. “Now I am functioning at a very high level. I just graduated from high school. I’m socializing and for the first time I have a desire to be out in life doing things. I am very interested in art and language, so I am writing and reading, drawing and performing my poetry. I’m even starting college in the fall!”


  • Learn more about the Children’s Partial Hospitalization Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. NYC Health + Hospitals health care system hospitals and community health centers provide an array of emergency, inpatient and outpatient child and adolescent mental health services, as well as pediatric and specialty teen health services. Find a health center near you.
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