You Are Not Alone


Lia Ghirardi, Editor

The years of being a teenager are ones of ups and downs. We can sometimes fall under peer pressure and make the wrong decisions, but we are not alone.

Touchstone Health Services is one of many providers that offer help to families in cases where children don’t make the best choices. For example, drug use, skipping school, self-harm, and drinking. Multisystemic Therapy Supervisor (MST) therapist Kerra Sussman is a Sahuaro graduate and has worked with Touchstone for 5 years.  “The goal is to empower the parents to learn skills on how to manage behavior,” Sussman explains. To do this, parents start by reaching out to a therapist to start at home sessions. “Sessions are at home so that the space is comfortable.” Sessions are a few times a week, typically averaging out to 3-5 hours. During this time, the “client”, their family, and the therapist sit and discuss what actions can be taken to improve poor behavior. Activities to strengthen positivity in growth within the teen takes place as well.  Their mission statement is: “Touchstone partners with individuals, families, schools and other service providers to deliver the optimal continuum of health, education and social services, with an emphasis on services that support individuals and families to acquire the skills to live productive and responsible lives.”

Other services are offered through Touchstone as well, such as Project Hope, which is a trauma-based program for those who suffered from sex abuse, physical abuse, ptsd, and other forms of trauma. This is a program that is more individually based for clients rather than finding a plan of healing with family present. With this program, teenagers can feel more comfortable on a 1 on 1 level. Exercises to push through the emotional and physical trauma take place during sessions in a place of comfort for the patient.  The goal is to “provide accessible behavioral health services designed to aid children to achieve success in school, live with their families, avoid delinquency, and become stable and productive adults.”

Life loves to throw challenges and roadblocks our way but you are not alone. If you or a loved one is in need, reach out to your school counselor or service providers from Touchstone.

Multisystemic Therapy Supervisor: Haley Biehler, MAS LMFT BHP

Phone: 520-668-7545

Email: [email protected]