By Dr. Jaclyn Starritt, Ph.D., PLLC
Program Committee Chair & Gala Committee Chair
Me Fine Foundation Board of Directors
As a psychologist who specializes in working with children and adolescents, families are often coming to see me at a time of darkness; when they have a child who is acting out, emotionally fragile or contemplating taking their own life. I see if every day. I also hear the heartbreaking stories of families struggling to understand “why.”
I spent several years of my training working in our partner hospitals and witnessing first hand the helplessness and deep sorrow parents feel when they are not able to help their child. However, what I have also learned through my training and my work is children are the most resilient, they fight, they look for the good and they persevere. They teach me valuable lessons every day.
I often seeing parents having to make difficult choices, choices no parent should ever have to make. The families Me Fine serves are literally faced with life and death and the last thing that should be a worry is how to keep the lights on or getting themselves to and from the hospital so they can be where they belong.
As a psychologist, I am particularly passionate about the emotional support programs Me Fine offers. I started out many years ago having the honor of serving on the Striving for More board, which merged with Me Fine. I worked with the founder of that organization to honor the memory of her daughter, Colleen, and ensure that children were being taken care of beyond the medicine.
Hospital life can be isolating. Children are often finding themselves cut off from friends, activities and school for their own good but at a time where their life is primarily composed of these worlds. Helping normalize their journey, giving them a way to tell their story, a way to be heard is critical. I am so very honored to be part of making that happen and privileged to be working alongside a group of individuals who care as much as I do about these families in their darkest hours.
This is why I do what I do, to bring hope to families and let them know that they are not alone.