Wood's Homes Blog

Worry Boxes

October 21, 2019
By Victoria Mitchell, Wood's Homes Addictions Specialist
Worry Boxes

It started out as an idea; a way to alleviate some of the fear and anxiety felt by the clients we serve who struggle with addictions.

For a number of reasons, there are times when our EXIT Youth Hub clients aren’t heard from for long periods. Some find other supports. Some leave the city. Some, unfortunately, fall on hard times and can no longer make their way to us. Whatever the reason, as Wood’s Homes’ Addictions Specialist, I wanted to do something to help the clients who return to EXIT after they’ve taken time away from our services.

These clients carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and they’re always looking for ways to let go of them the same way many of their caregivers or parents do…

Through addiction.

What could we do?  How can we help alleviate their worries? Face their fears?

That got us thinking… Let’s create a Worry Box!

Youth can put pen to paper, express their worries and lock them away for the day. The hope is that by tucking the worry away, it might lift the weight they carry every day and give them time to breathe.

It began with one young student at the school on our Parkdale campus. William Taylor Learning Centre is a place for our clients (and students from the community) who need a little extra support. 

We painted the outside of her Worry Box, creating a picture of strength. We used the colours of earth to represent the mighty tree, a crystal clear river that can cut through stone, and the sun, which allows each one of us to bask in its warmth.

We opened the box. It was empty, with lots of room to carry worries.  We placed a chakra stone inside, reinforcing its strength and ability to keep the worry at bay. 

When the time came, the student wrote down her worry, placed the paper inside and quickly shut the box. I asked her about the worry.

She replied: “I do not want to become my mother.

That is an impactful statement from someone so young. So, what is the takeaway here? Maybe it’s that our youth have the capacity to articulate their worries, which translates to their fears and that by providing even the smallest avenue to reach out, we can have a huge impact. 

Wood’s Homes is known for our innovative services and interventions – we make every attempt to help those we support build resilience and independence. We care and we..

And so, with her worry contained in the box, she walked away a little lighter. A little less afraid.