My Sixteenth Street Story | Esmeralda


After falling into a deep depression, Sixteenth Street’s behavioral health department helped me address obstacles I was facing and allowed me to express myself fully in my native language.

I have been coming to Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers for the past 26 years. When my children were younger, I would bring them for check-ups, and we also participated in different programs. Five years ago, I suffered an accident at my job that changed my life. I severely injured my lower back needing three different surgeries, none of which really improved my condition. I was no longer able to work; I became disabled and fell into a deep depression. Going from being active every day and working, to barely being able to move affected me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I went from being independent to relying on my children and doctors.

One of my specialists recommended that I see a psychologist. He gave me a psychologist to see out in New Berlin, but it was challenging for me to communicate and express myself because I do not know English. I also did not want my children to help translate because I did not want them to hear what I was going through. After going to the psychologist in New Berlin for almost a year, I started to look for other psychologists and realized that Sixteenth Street had a behavioral health department with psychologists that could help me in my native language.

Although it could be difficult for anyone to talk about their problems to someone new, the Behavioral Health department at Sixteenth Street made me feel comfortable and at home. They express genuine concern, care, and have given me so much support that has helped me regain a positive perspective on life. Talking about my day to day with Maria, PCTL, (Psychotherapist) and Anna, MSN, (Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) has allowed me to put my life into perspective and gain clarity. Being able to express my feelings and what I am going through in my native language has been amazing. I enjoy and look forward to my appointments. Their care for me goes beyond Sixteenth Street walls. Anna often calls me just to see how I am doing. I love it that she holds me accountable. The Behavioral Health Department has become an essential part of my healing process, and I will always be grateful to Sixteenth Street for their care, especially to Anna and Maria for being by my side every step of the way.

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