About

Help to Hope exists to offer support and encouragement to parents of teens in crisis. We all need someone to hold our hope for us sometimes. And when we have a child in crisis, the need can be even greater.

No one can guarantee the outcome of the roads we are walking, but no one needs to walk those roads alone. May you be encouraged to know that help and hope are available to you.

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We have been privileged to share our story in both The Denver Post and Family Circle Magazine. There are helpful resources at the end of each article, as well as on the Resouces page of this blog.

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My name is Monica. Several years ago, as a recently widowed mom, I watched one of my teenage children spiral into the depths of depression and despair. The daughter I knew had left, and in her place was a stranger who intimidated and baffled all of us (herself included).

Our journey has not been an easy one, and truth be told we had a number of strikes against us before this even happened. Finding the necessary help while also just trying to get through another day felt impossible.

There is not a member of our family who was left unaffected by the time of intense crisis in our home. I must make this perfectly clear: I am proud of all of my children and the courage and strength they displayed in the midst of terrifying times.

Though only one of my three then-teen children was in need of serious intervention regarding mental health issues, we all now bear the scars from those days of struggle. Some of those scars are physical and quite visible; others are borne in our hearts and minds and memories, discernible to no one else but no less real.

I believe that beauty can come from ashes and that we are created to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves receive in our time of need. These things do not negate or erase pain, but instead add a deeper dimension and dignity to our lives.

We can choose to embrace the struggle or to fight it. I am in process, to be sure, but I seek to live in a way that honors the stories we are living, even if I do so imperfectly.

My desire is to encourage parents of teens in crisis. If anyone else struggling with the myriad of ways these crises present themselves (depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse, etc) finds benefit here, well that’s just icing on the cake.

No one has all the answers. But almost everyone has the capacity for compassion, and the ability to offer encouragement and to bear witness to another’s suffering. This is what most of us want, someone who will simply see and acknowledge our struggle. A kind word or a well-timed referral to a good resource can be both life-giving and life-saving.

That’s what Help to Hope is all about.

© Monica Simpson and Help To Hope, 2013
https://www.facebook.com/HelpToHope
https://twitter.com/HelpToHope

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18 thoughts on “About

    • Oh Carrie, once again you humble me (even though I dropped the ball with the Liebster…) Thank you for your kind and honoring words! I appreciate your hard work on your blog, and your heart for suicide prevention awareness borne of your own grief.

      Merci!
      Monica

  1. This is no doubt a very insightful resource for people trying to cope with teen children. Thank you for coming by to see my blog and for the follow. I will be following yours as well. My sister has a 14 yr-old who is what I term to be out of control and exhibiting tendency to adverse behavior. I will reference this blog, I already know. Thanks for the great info here.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your niece. I’m grateful that she has adults in her life who are paying attention. You can find some links on my Resource page, and my email is under the Contact and Copyright tab if I can offer any encouragement.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. I look forward to following your blog.

      Monica

  2. What a gift you are giving to others. I have three children and am bracing myself. It is beyond words to know that there are other people struggling and rising again.

    • Thank you for your gracious encouragement. I return the compliment to you and your blog! Much of life is struggling and rising again, but oh how lovely to have good company and strong arms to bear us up!

      Monica

  3. Fantastic post. I’m a survivor-mom of a teen who dived so deep into bipolar illness that before I was able to scoop him up and place him in a wonderful therapeutic boarding school, he was living on the street eating out of dumpsters. I myself had crashed and burned from mental illness and had lost everything I had. My parents mortgaged their home in order to pay for the school, and I cashed out my remaining retirement fund as well. Thank God, he is now 28 years old and a Ph.D candidate in Molecular Biology. I’m still paying for the loan, but it’s all been worth it. My advice to parents in the same predicament: Keep on loving your child. Love them through it all. Do what you need to do to keep yourselves healthy. Don’t be afraid to make good decisions on your child’s behalf. And don’t abandon them. My ex’s wife threw my son out on the street, in the name of “tough love.” He was mentally ill, and if I had not rescued him I know he would have been dead or in prison. If you can’t keep your child at home, find a safe and productive place for them to be. I know I’ve been long-winded here, but it’s so important. There’s nothing more important.

    • Not longwinded at all, Laura ~ you have much hard-won wisdom to share. My heart goes out to you and your son and other loved ones for the excruciating experience I know that was for all of you. A part of it never goes away. And that’s a good thing I think, because it allows you to offer the grace and encouragement that you have so eloquently done here. Thanks for sharing your story and your kindness.

      Monica

  4. So glad to see your blog. Helping teens in crisis has been a compassion of mine since I had been through it once with one daughter and coming out of the depths with another. Now I write to share what I have learned and hope that someone can benefit from what I have learned so that they can spread encouraging words to another. Too many parents feel alone or depressed themselves and really don’t know how to get the support they need or who to turn to. Thank you for sharing from your heart and your life. Stacy

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