Dawn Still of Project Hope Named Michigan Counselor of the Year
The following story is one of the reasons Dawn Still of Project Hope was recently recognized as Michigan Counselor of the Year by Real Alternatives. (The client’s name has been changed for her privacy.) Amy came to Catholic Charities for counseling services to help with depression and anxiety. Because she was pregnant, she also learned about the Catholic Charities’ Project Hope ministry for expectant mothers. It was through Project Hope she met Dawn Still, clinical therapist at the CCSEM office in Clinton Township. “She was scared when she came to us,” said Dawn. “She did not have a job. She was living with her dad, who wasn’t much help in the situation. Her boyfriend was no longer in the picture. We helped her maintain stable housing, provided her food and clothing and help with utilities. We also provided baby items and furniture so she would be ready when her baby arrived.” Most importantly, Amy learned about the baby growing inside her. “We taught her how a baby develops in the womb, and what to expect when the baby is born,” Dawn said. “We went over every detail so she could feel confident as a first-time mom.” Amy also learned about the possibility of suffering post-partum depression so she could develop a plan with a therapist for after her baby was born. During her pregnancy, this young mother grew more and more confident and excited about her child’s impending birth. After the birth, Amy continued to receive support from Project Hope, learning to be a good mother to her newborn son. Today Amy is active in a mother’s support group. “She can’t imagine life without her baby,” said Dawn.