Meet 2016-17 Ohio Champion, Alyssa

alyssa-smithA true advocate, Alyssa speaks openly and frequently about her struggles with mental illness. “Everyone has issues,” she says. “At least I know what mine are.”

Since Alyssa’s diagnosis at age 3, when her tantrums lasted for hours and she refused to sleep, she’s made incredible strides. Coping techniques, biweekly counseling, a restrictive diet, daily medication and supplements help her handle the ups and downs of life.

When Alyssa feels out of control, she goes to her children’s hospital’s mental facility. Though she doesn’t look forward to these visits, she knows the staff there will love and support her until she is able to keep herself and others safe.

At school, Alyssa is excelling, especially in math and reading. She loves volunteering as a peer tutor for kids with special needs. Alyssa’s teachers say she has a special gift for communicating with these students, demonstrating empathy beyond her years.

How donations helped Alyssa at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center:  

With a focus on improving total child health, CMN Hospitals donations support initiatives that focus on prevention and wellness, including mental health. Local contributions have expanded psychiatric services to help kids like Alyssa who battle mental illness.

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