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037 - Brent Bryant

Updated: Jun 11

Brent Bryant from Family First Adolescent Services. He is a family ambassador, speaker, and advocate for addressing adolescent mental health and substance abuse disorder. He helps teens talk about there brain, and where and when to ask for help. Enjoy.


The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates (illuminatebilling.com). They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.













https://anchor.fm/illuminaterecoverypodcast/episodes/037---Brent-Bryant-e1225n4


Transcript (no grammar): welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond the self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt neider i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing and collection simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and leading reporting improve your practices cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates today kurt and i have the privilege of talking with brent bryant brent is a family ambassador at family first adolescent services um he saw he's a highly sought after speaker and advocate for addressing mental health and substance abuse disorder challenges within the adolescent population brent also has shared his inspirational message with thousands of youth across the country in diverse settings and trying to make a difference brent i just want to thank you for showing up today and i'm super excited to talk about adolescence and treatment you know what thanks for having me i truly appreciate it hope you guys are doing well thank you yeah doing well it's beautiful day spring has sprung and um and i i love the sun i do love the sun brent i want to start off by maybe just getting a little bit of background um talk about how you ended up in this industry and and some of your history yeah so i uh i grew up in seattle washington um and i i didn't know it at the time but my dad was an alcoholic and uh long story short um we moved and that kind of threw me down a path that i didn't realize i was going on at the age of 12. i didn't get to play the sports i was used to anymore i didn't get to do all the stuff i didn't have any friends before we moved to and then within a year of that move my parents got a divorce well during that time uh i became a turtle kind of hitting my shell because i was kind of scared and nervous and everything moving and so i found uh the drug of alcohol and before i knew it i was pretty much addicted because that kid that was always outgoing and excited about life and playing sports in seattle that moved away uh kind of came out of that turtle shell when i you know first started using drugs and from then it just went down a spiral that's not an unfamiliar story and it happens to a lot of youth and it can be what seems you know from a from a adult standpoint maybe it's just a simple piece but it's not so simple i think in the life of that youth what what's your insight definitely i didn't get any help i didn't know what was going on with myself and this was back in the uh mid 80s i mean to age myself from 47 so this was like 1987 86 and i didn't know you know i knew i was feeling i was scared i was nervous i i got all these weird things started happening to me that never happened before where i got anxieties over stuff and i never talked to anybody about it you know i decided i just gotta listen to my parents i just gotta listen to my parents you know and um when after my parents got a divorce that's when it really started to get bad because i stayed with my dad he was drinking so it was like that was normal and when i began to to drink and really drink at that age i uh i didn't feel any pain anymore and i was totally different and that's just two small things that happen in life and that happens a lot so when i talk to kids in schools all over you know one of my things is i always ask them you know how many of you guys have moved in the last five years uh because when you're smaller probably six or seven it's probably not as uh tough maybe but uh how many of you moved and that i go does that hurt or anything and people raise their hands i go did it hurt to move and stuff did you get anxious yeah yeah yeah then i asked did you see a doctor about that no i asked them if their parents have been divorced you know did that hurt yes you kind of blame yourself yeah did you see a doctor about that no i'm like uh and then i kind of compare that and how i felt to well what if you broke your leg or your arm or your hip or something you go see a doctor you you know they always say yes and i go well what's more important your brain or you know let's say your leg and of course they're like our brain i go but everyone in here said they never wouldn't saw a doctor for their pain and and that's where i kind of relate it to is let's make it simplified in the fact that going to the doctor for a broken leg is normal but when it comes to our brain none of us go see a doctor when something happens like that um and you know your parents getting a divorce or moving that's a huge thing and that could be compared to a broken leg so we need to go get that fixed that's a pretty powerful statement and and a resource to give to those adolescents but it's not always that easy i mean you're giving them information and opening up their minds to new ways of maybe being able to address some of the things you know break down that stigma that's out there but these are adolescents and they don't always know how to advocate for themselves um how do you help them in that realm yeah and that's kind of what i do is i break it down in the simplest effect so getting help or acknowledging the fact that you may be hurting in some way that could be small things the big things small things is you know um you know the hair your hair dryer broke in the morning then your parents you know forgot to buy uh milk for your cereal in the morning and then you get to school and your school teachers like you didn't do well on this test and it's because you you uh missed a couple of problems you know and then you need to get an a and you know all these little things and then maybe something big happens like your parents get a divorce or so you know your dog dies or something so how i try to generalize it is is that we take care of everything our bodies are you know all this stuff you all you see is that stuff on tv where you got to be healthy you got to be healthy but no one talks about the most important thing right and that is your brain so let's concentrate on what that health means that could be you just journaling about your day that could be you talking to a friend that could be you talking to your teacher it could be talking to a social worker at your school you know getting that help is more valuable and helpful than you know getting your help if you sprained your ankle yet you would not go to the doctor if you sprained your ankle or your broken leg and how i try to have them visualize i go could you imagine because i broke my leg i broke it in three places playing football and i go if i never went to that doctor do you think i'd be able to walk today run today anything and everyone says no of course and i'm like yeah i actually went to the doctor to get that fixed yet this whole time i went you know from 12 to 34 years old without doing anything for myself to help my addiction and help my mental health and look where it's gotten me in you know to where i am right now in this time it's taken me forever to get back to where i wanted to be and just those little things if you don't get them taken care of now can turn into something huge it's like that snowball effect right i always compare it to let's say shaquille o'neal's in front of you and he's your problem yet shaquille o'neal gets the tacky while he's right in front of you okay that's kind of everyday stuff that's every day if we take care of it in that day that time where it's present then it's going to get better but if we just let it drag on and go and go and go let's say we let it go for weeks and weeks and weeks well that means shaq gets to go back five six seven eight yards and run and tackle me now that's gonna really hurt well that's the same thing with your mental health if you let problems just continue to get bigger and bigger and bigger without taking care of them that's going to happen to you so i really try to get them in the frame of mind that this is what it's compared to but yet it's more important because it's your brain i try to get them to come up in front of the class i try to involve them in everything i'm doing and try to relate it to what they see in their everyday life like using their cell phones like you know anything i can make it to where they understand it i'll do and usually in a class setting more than a uh an assembly setting it works really good that's incredible and and so relatable to youth because what i've what i've understood about youth is that they don't necessarily want to be told what to do or told how to do it but they are open to information they are open to knowledge and you know they know that they're having struggles they just don't always know how to address them how do you see youth responding to you and what results are you getting as you talk to these youth and give them these resources yeah and you hit the nail on the head i am not a person of authority i'm not telling them how to live their life right all i'm doing is talking about my story my trials and tribulations what the addiction and the mental health has done to me and i open up i'm completely honest i'm very vulnerable sometimes i may cry during one of my speeches it depends on what i'm talking about whether it's the death of my mother or the death of my sister the death of my friend in high school i mean all these different things i can start crying and when i open up like that which is every speech um they will come up to me afterwards and thank you and just say you know either you change kind of way i look at things or can't believe you're so raw and open about your life i can't believe you actually cried that's really cool i'm like well i think i'm a tough guy i cry all the time it's okay um not every day but you know it's okay to to be in touch with your emotions and feelings so the responses i've gotten have been overwhelming and really good because they look at me as like i'm them because i'm not a person of authority i come in and i just lay it out there and i can relate to them in so many different ways because like i tell people all the time you probably think to yourself right now as i'm speaking this is not going to be you i'm not you're not going to be me yet i was that same person in high school when somebody like dare came along and said oh i'll never see that person and yet here i am and so getting them to see and understand that that all i'm doing is pointing out the facts sometimes i'll throw in some information i never try to scare them because kids don't get scared they don't like that authoritative type of guy i'm just one of them and i and i try to make it fun and informative as i possibly can to get them engaged get them involved make them laugh make them cry if they do um a little bit everything but it's just my story of my life and growing up really i think um the youth that are out there now are pretty incredible and they come with an awful lot of um of talent and insight and and they i think they really want to connect and get the kind of help that they need but they may not have the words or the language um or the supportive network around them to help them talk about if you will for a minute brent what was what did what role did mental health play in in your in your addiction and in your recovery yeah great question it uh played a massive role and i didn't realize it until i actually went into recovery and the very first day i was in recovery i had to write um a story about my life it turned out within that day i wrote like over 25 pages and through that the counselor came back to me and said no did you ever get help for when your parents moved no did you ever get help from when your parents got a divorce no oh those two issues basically catapulted me into where i went to with mental health and my addiction i got into a lot of fights i got into a lot of trouble i got into um i didn't do as well as i should have my athleticism went down the drain and i became somebody i never was before until i became sober again so mentally that was huge and so then when i became uh sober and i had to relearn basically how to live again because i didn't know how to deal with stuff without a drugged outbrain i didn't know how to deal with my emotions and my feelings i didn't know how to being you know responsible without a drug i didn't know how to i didn't know how to do anything so i had to relearn all that stuff and finding myself and beginning to love myself again has taken forever and it's still a work in progress it always will be uh but mental health that's the little things right so when i talk about that shaquille o'neal scenario well now i tell kids well if you've already done a drug which i always talk about alcohol in that way because you know more kids use alcohol than any other drugs and i say if if you have a problem and now you've done this drug before you're going to uh go back to like how you felt when you're on that drug and want to do it again so now instead of just one shaquille o'neal it's 11 shaquille o'neal you know tackling you with your problems because now you're on this drug and the worse the problem gets the worse you get the worse the actual drinking or you know drug problem get so it's just a combination of things that kind of overlap and intertwine and really just bounce back and forth off of each other because they feed off each other your problem your mental health and your addiction at the same time it's true and do you feel like the youth can really grab hold of that concept it's like telling a lie right is that if you tell enough lies you can't remember who you told the lies to and it just starts to compound and problems start to happen it becomes unmanageable do the kids grasp that do you feel like they really get what you're talking about yeah cause especially when i'm in a classroom i actually have like i go who's the biggest kid in here and i have them come up in front of me and kind of demonstrate what i'm talking about then i'll bring up the 11. and so when i say you know let's say if it's shaq or some football player or something like that depending where i'm at um i'll go if they tackle me holy smokes is that going to hurt right but if they get to run and tackle me poor brent's going to go through the wall right and that's man i'm gonna go to the hospital and and i relate that to their everyday life so they just didn't understand it and they uh get highly involved because i'm bringing them up in front of each other and you know that creates some laughter and some fun but at the same time they're like wow yeah because it is like the snowball everyone's heard of the snowball effect do i just kind of generalize it into you know let's say shaquille o'neal because everybody knows shaq and how big he is so you talked about how for you again this kind of goes back to this learning learning to go to that place right for disconnection or whatever you talked about when you were young right after you had moved your parents had gone through this divorce your father's potentially an alcoholic but you probably didn't recognize that at the time when you started to drink was he familiar with that was that something that he knew was going on did you get it from him or was this a secret thing from your father as well um in the beginning it was but then when him my mom got divorced i lived with him and i could drink right in front of them so this is kind of an interesting thing too like i you hear of sometimes parents giving their children alcohol with this attitude that like if they're they're gonna do it anyways i'd rather have him do it under my roof right at her i'd rather have him do it where i can see him and i and i think sometimes that comes from like this well-meaning place but not really understanding the long-term impacts right the the danger to the developing brain and all that other kind of thing because you talked about you know if you if you learn that that's a place where you can go for solace right or whatever then that's going to get worse right that's that snowball effect that ultimately happens over time how do you coach kids through that when potentially they're getting it from family and how do you coach family to to not be the instigator yeah that's uh i i do talk about this and i i relate it to um well if you're gonna give your kids alcohol why not give them crack uh because alcohol kills more kids ages 12 to 20 than all the other drugs combined according to the cdc um so i i saw some facts in there but i relate it to russian roulette you know you do not know no one does how someone's brain is gonna react just alcohol alone right they could drink and then they do it once let's say they get a buzz or they do get drunk or something like that nothing negative happens well now that's in their brain they could either revert back to that like that we talked about there when they have a problem or go behind your back because now they're like oh my parents let me do this once let me see if i can then start going to parties and they don't understand all the ramifications that can come from that right you allowed to do it once they're going to want to do it again and again but why would you give your child or let your child do that in front of you i mean if you knew this facts if you knew what was happening with how many kids die every single year from just alcohol you would never do that like i said would you give them crack would you give them coke would you give them heroin would you get to give them alcohol is like okay cool this is not a problem yet it totally is a problem because they don't know how that their child's brain is going to react to that drug and before you know it they could be dead i guess part of the reality of that is that you're taking an adult who doesn't understand the impact on their own brain exactly and they may be an alcoholic and not realize it personally much less with their child right exactly and and if they are they're going to deny to 99 say they don't have a problem like all alcoholics do in addicts and push that aside and say my kid's fine it'll be fine if they do this in front of me blah blah blah well how do you know they're not going to do something else what happens if they have some kind of reaction to the alcohol and end up dying in front of you then what you know i mean everyone just takes it for granted because it's legal and that oh you don't hear about you know the statistics of an overdose of alcohol well again i'll go back to well then how come more kids die about you know drinking alcohol than they do all the other drugs i don't that just doesn't make sense to me yet it does because alcohol is very deadly um in many ways and so i say to them and i say to my the kids i talk to you all the time is look just because it's legal doesn't mean it's okay and it's not legal for you to do because you're underage if a cop were to walk in right now and see you drinking you're going to get an mip an mic who knows what else your parents are going to get in trouble then i relate it to where if you were at a party and let's say your parents said well let's just have a get together with your friends the cops show up and they see you drinking and you have an old beverage in your hand a1 that's illegal so you're going to get in trouble now let's say you want to go to college or let's say you want to get a job they're just not going to let you into a college right the college of your choice somewhere you want to go let's say it's cal berkeley or let's say it's harbor or let's say it's you know michigan or whatever uh when there's five people and they gotta choose between the five and yet here you are you got a 3.9 you volunteer you do all these things you're all around great they're like oh this person's perfect for our school then they're going through your stuff and they look and see oh my god they got busted for you know drugs nah we're not gonna take them we'll take one or the other four so what you think won't affect you right now actually will down the road yet they're not gonna tell you that in a commercial nobody's going to tell you that when they say oh partying fun drinking fine you know all these things that you don't know and don't see can come back to haunt you and why risk it and there's there's this big spectrum right because you've got and when you're talking to that audience you probably there's a good chunk of people who have thought about this right or who have had an opportunity who but who may not necessarily have acted on it yet right and then you've got some who already are addicted right that's happened already at this age and they and they really just need treatment what do you what what are the resources that you're offering for everybody who's somewhere in between right they don't necessarily need to go to full counseling right they don't need to go to the er like the you know broken leg but they've tasted it right they've seen it they've whatever what are the kind of casual resources for the for adolescents that's a great question and they're truly that i know of uh are not really out here um for somebody that maybe want to talk about that without like seeing the personal therapist they don't have programs and schools for this i mean the program that i work is is a program where i just talk about it but it doesn't you know i'll follow up but there really isn't something like that for kids um that are kind of in in between like they don't really want to do it yet they kind of maybe do it sometimes here and there um there is nothing that i'm aware of like that it's either full-blown or nothing at all right there's kind of that great area of no in-between but for me what i tell them uh is to truly find a place for them that they can relate to somebody else like a friend that they can't find their parent if they can't write then fi you know write to somebody uh to find it in within themselves to finding healthy place because right now what they're doing when they start the drug is their their um a you know hurting their brain stunning their growth all these different things uh and that's not going to be healthy for them in the long run and and i always tell them i go i got the mind right now i'm 47 i'm i got the mind of like a 25 year old and the body is 75 year old so the effects of it all you may not feel it at that at that point in time but it's there so any cleaners it's just you don't know you don't know what you're getting into you have no idea and this could lead down a road that you don't want to ever be down and go down yet there i mean as far as just in general stuff for kids in schools there is no mental health programs they they don't they don't uh offer it as much as you think they would right they might have a speaker like myself come in and talk and that's it you know they that might be their quota for the year i don't know but there's not that kind of that middle ground i just tell them if they have which i always ask them to raise their hand if they have and i'm totally fine with that because you know i gotta look in the mirror but know that know the consequences and what what does it say about us as humans that we need something to make us think we're better think we feel better all these different things and what does that say about us and who we are don't you love yourself without having to take a drug doesn't think that's a cancer isn't the answer to that no most people even adults struggle with that very question of do i am i good enough do i love myself they're trying to find their identity and now you've got a a teenager or an adolescent who one their their executive brain is not developed enough to be able to see an action out like you talked about they they don't see the consequences of it they're they're not they don't have the capacity on some level to even go out to oh this can affect my college career because they might not even care about that right now and so that becomes a really tough thing you can talk about it but do they really grab hold of that idea of oh i can you know this is going to have some negative consequences because the benefit in their life right now is i feel better and i'm able to socially engage and i feel much more successful when i'm on this drug how do we combat that yeah and you know it just will you know and sometimes it'll depend on what class i'm in or you know i guess crowd i'm seeing but if they're in it they don't think they can get out of it i think it comes back to their mental health and why so then i'll dig and i'll ask more and more and more whose fathers are in their life who who's been through a relationship or they've been hurt what is it about drinking that that gets you to a place or some other drug right that gets you to a place where you think you're you're you're good and sometimes they'll be honest with me and a lot of it is they don't think anyone cares is what i found is that maybe nobody cares at home so if they do it no one cares nobody cares their friends don't care their friends sometimes the ones that are wanting them to do it in the first place and so what i say to them is that uh people do care if if you don't open up and let them know how you're feeling no one's gonna know and i i sit there and tell them that you can't say that no one cares about you because i'm in in this classroom for a reason and that's to talk to you and guess what i'm talking to you because i care about you every single one of you and i don't know you but i love you and i love you as a person i care about you as a person and i want what would be best for you so if you've done this and you're finding that you do it because you want to escape something we gotta figure out how to kind of turn that around a little bit to get you to care enough about you right now to get a little bit of help or to reach out to your friends i mean most these kids don't even understand or know that a alcohol is illegal b that some of their friends have been through things they had no idea about like somebody died a dog died all these different little things that compile in their brain that they've gone through they don't know so it's finding out what it is that a first got him there but then what's that that driving force behind it where was this all coming from and why is it coming from that place and what is it about you that doesn't care because i gotta find out more about what it is you don't care about do you not care about yourself or do you not think people care about you so when i was in this age group i can distinctly remember the commercials on tv right started with a frying pan it was like maybe even start with the egg which everyone has started with but it was like this is your brain you know and then it cracked the egg into the pan and it sizzled and it was this is your brain on drugs right and that was like reagan area era right this was war on drugs territory when you're when you're in high schools do you feel any pushback on the message that you're they're giving right because obviously you know teenagers are open to it and you've got to try to figure out how to crack that brain open but are you do you ever get any kind of pushback from the faculty or teachers or anything like that where you know right now politically this this war on drugs has it's not just the stigma of protecting an adolescent brain right there's this is a segregation issue and there's this is being used as as a as a race fight and and some of those kind of different things do you do you feel that when you're in schools at all or is that is everyone just kind of genuinely concerned about the health of the students and does that make sense does my question make sense it does actually and where i was going to go to with that is that a lot of schools don't want my services because they don't want to admit that there's a problem in their school teachers saying shocking the teachers say yes we do yet the administration says no or the um uh or they don't have money or they don't have whatever there's so many excuses i've heard so far and it killed me because i know every school in the world has some kind of an issue and if it's mental health or addiction they all have it and there is nothing going on in that school that is trying to help them with that whatsoever you know it's kind of crazy when i look at like well i was in high school 30 years ago nothing changed there's not even like a mental health course or you know they don't even understand so the administration i get a lot of pushback never have i ever gotten one from a parent or a kid or for that fact teachers because they all love it because they know they see it it's the principal it's the superintendent because they don't want at times to have their school look like oh my god they've got a problem because there's a again they got to look good it's just asinine right like when you understand the statistics and the numbers and that kind of thing it's to think that you have any body of adolescence and to think none of them are dealing with a mental health struggle right or a substance struggle it's just crazy like that's not a yeah that's not a black mark on the you know story of the school is turning a blind eye to the development of any human being it's just crazy it is and i see it and it it absolutely breaks my heart to hear that from them and not being able to do anything about it because they're the ones that you know uh are the be all and all in that regard yet it's uh you know their their school's on fire and they're just not evacuating anybody they're just gonna sit there and let it burn well and i think it's interesting what you bring up too is that here we have this protected population right we're gonna protect our youth and we're not gonna let you come in and do a lot of research and we're not going to let you come in and have programs for them because we're protecting them almost to the point where we keep them from resources right we don't we don't give them access to the same thing that an adult has access to because we're trying to protect them in in the name of protection which they do need to be protected but i think it's a it's a disservice to them because if if all schools are anything like my kids they come home and go yeah my friend is suicidal and i had to take razor blades away from them today because they were cutting themselves or i had to do this or you know i need to spend some time with this person because they're really in trouble they're already dealing with the mental health without the tools and i think like we've been talking about this is not helping them they have got to have places they can go adults that they can trust and and some support that we can wrap around them specific to mental health most definitely and i look at it like every middle school in high school even sixth grade um should have some type of uh facility like you're talking about there of being able to go to a place in that school to be able to talk and get help through that school i think there should be courses taught on mental health in high school in middle school and starting to teach them in the sixth grade right or even before depending on what happens because there's so many different things going on outside of school in their families there's so many things going on social media now and then now there's so many things going on in schools whether it's the school shootings or some of these things that are happening that never happened back when i was in high school right so they got so many more things they're dealing with not only the bullying that might happen at school but now the bullying over the internet um social media and kids are killing themselves over that yet i don't see anything around that whatsoever and any state i've truly been into the the point where i'm like they truly care about these kids not only them just passing class but how they are as a human there's nothing out there that i see right now that is doing anything like that and it kills me because these kids need it more now than ever and all i hear is there's not enough money or we're not that we don't have that problem yeah and it's a it's a crime it's almost a crime because it doesn't matter this can't be a question of money this has to be a question of really how do we help them get help i mean you're part of the family first adolescent services when those adolescents come to your program how are they getting there who's who's initiating that contact uh that can be a number of different ways and usually it somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody that knows about us or somebody else that's in the field that knows we work well with adolescent males in our facility and how it's um ran so that could be a number of ways and we actually have a parent group that parents still talk that their kids have been in a facility that meet up once a month so we get uh them to uh if they know somebody that needs it to get him sent to our way me going into schools now for family first will be another door we're going to start to open more and more we couldn't do this past year because of of course covis but now especially after cover they're going to need us now now more than ever um because so many things have come up about from kogan whether it's somebody dying or you know kids are being isolated things like that so i'll be in schools and we'll be in schools as much as possible get that word out um we'll be starting our own podcast here shortly um it is put on a conference uh for over 2500 different people in the united states about kind of how we do it what we do and just adolescent treatment in general so uh there's a number of ways but when they get there they're they're treated not like an actual patient but you know we have houses they can go into real homes it's not like a hospital setting it's just a place where they can find themselves and know that they're they're going to be uh accountable yet trusted and they're going to have all the faith in the world and our facility and our people so i'm uh that's why i love family first so much and love being able to represent them that's incredible and so important talk about the interaction that family first has i know you've got parents who will come once a month but it's a pretty big challenge to take these youth you know out of their families that may or may not be functional and a lot of them you know they need to do mental health work themselves right because this is generational how do you impact that dynamic because you it's really difficult to put that youth right back into the same situation you just you know you just took them out of to help them grow and learn and then you put them right back that's not a really great scenario no yeah and for us we work with the families as well as the kids so as long as the kid is with us and even after our aftercare we're working with that family the counselors and therapists are working with that family as well because we know that um that we can't just help them and fix them or make them better and then send them back into the same place they've been it's got to be everybody everyone's got to have a part in it or that kid is going to go back to right where they were before because of the situation they're in so we work with the families our therapists are in touch with the families uh two three four times a week um in counseling and therapy while working with the child as well so that's why it's family first because we know we got to take care of that family because um i was just saying this earlier it would be like an oil spill in the ocean and you take a bird out of the ocean that's full of oil clean it off it's all healthy and then you put it back in the same ocean that still has that oil in it you know that's not gonna help that's only a band-aid we gotta we gotta actually get to the root of everything and then uh from there we can hopefully get a healthier lifestyle for not only a family for that child and brent i imagine that um that the work that you do is changing families significantly can you maybe share you know an idea of what success looks like when a when an adolescent or a young man has gone through your program and and he goes back home what does success look like there and and what else happens at that stage uh successes i think gosh in so many different ways success would be uh that kid working on themselves for the rest of their life and that family the same way because it's going to be different for everybody but knowing that that kid now is is making a difference not only through their family but with themselves so you want to get them back feeling healthy and loved by about themselves when you put them back into that family dynamic and then seeing how they grow and that success is how they grow together so you know we've seen that on numerous occasions but it's always a different dynamic but then healing together and healing and then going to therapy and having our therapist talk to them all is one and then still working with that kid so it's being cognitive of one another and you know seeing that they can exist with each other together loving one another with that same goal in mind everybody in the boat or in this case in that family is rowing the same way now that's going to create you know it's going to be trials and tribulations and everything there's going to be a tough road but you've got to take it slowly and you have to be patient with it and those results will come um the more patient you are so uh i've seen it and i know our founders have seen it many times where that that family continues to grow i just saw one a month ago at a golf tournament where you're like wow he wouldn't have never thought that before and after where everyone's smiling and laughing and and uh interacting and being open and upfront about what they've gone through you know not hiding you know not going into that turtle show but being open about their family dynamic and and uh where they are in life because that's the thing is that somebody comes to us we help them everybody gets help and blah that they hide it and hide it and hide it and hide it hide it don't talk about it don't talk about it who knows where that's gonna go but you find the more open and vulnerable people are especially in a family dynamic the better off they're going to be because they're going to have people there to keep helping them not just us but others yeah absolutely brian i couldn't agree more and what i hear you say is you're really taking away the shame and the stigma that goes along with this and the reasons why they're hiding and not speaking out so that they can feel confident and know that this is not about who they are these are choices they make and it shifts everything about the way they live their lives and that's what i hear you saying i can only imagine that every family and every person and individual on the continent on the on the earth needs to have that kind of support and and needs to have that kind of influence in their lives if there are families that are listening parents and kids that are listening to this podcast and they want to get a hold of you and get more information what's the best way for them to do that uh the best way is just to go to our website at familyfirstas.com um that will give you everything and anything you need and they can call me if they want to i don't mind giving out my phone number uh it's area code 360-507-6726 but the best way is definitely just go on our website you'll be able to find our admissions number and then call that but we have a ton of stuff on our website that you can go through look through call us and then ask our admissions people some questions um and find out because you never know maybe you're not at that point where you need that kind of help yet but maybe you are and i think like you just talked i wish everyone would be as open and and honest with themselves as i say myself is you know and vulnerable because we all put on this portrayal but we all need help in some form or fashion you know um and it's okay to get that help it's just this whole thing you see in society where everyone thinks they have to be perfect well no one's perfect yet again society almost tells us we have to be because perfection in what way perfection in let's say you go 15 years without missing a credit card payments than a pandemic kid you miss six payments because you can't afford to live anymore and boom what happens right if you're not perfect in those realms you get punished for it so it's different but opening up and letting yourself be who you truly are and not being ashamed of that person is the ultimate goal you want to get to with people yeah i could not agree more and and you know there's no we don't have life training for that kind of stuff that we come into this world believing that somehow we have to do it on our own and we can't trust other people and if we're flawed we have to keep that a secret and so the ability to be around and be in a space that's safe enough and trusting enough where we can open up where we see other people modeling that and opening up and being vulnerable like you have been with us today brent then that's what starts to shift this so i can't tell you how much i appreciate the work that you're doing and the difference that you're making it's it's so impactful and and these kids and the families that they are part of um are really going to make a difference because it begins to grow exponentially as they touch the lives of people after you've touched them and your programs touch them so um i love to see things that start to grow and expand and really make a difference on a big level so thank you for the work you do brent yeah it all starts with a little ripple and hopefully that can turn into a big wave and you know i'm gonna do this for the rest of my life until the day i die i never will retire from wanting to help people um no matter how old i am and uh it's just a gift and i'm i'm glad that i can give back because i'm lucky to be alive and if i didn't do this then uh i wouldn't be doing my life justice so i love that and you can tell the passion that you have about talking to kids and getting them to shift their thinking and to and seek out help so i love it thank you so much for being with us today thank you for having me i totally appreciate you guys have a great day and take care


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