Heyden is 16 years old and lives a busy life with high school, soccer, shooting hoops in the neighborhood and hanging out with his friends. He’s excited to get his license soon, and loves playing goalie of the varsity soccer team. Heyden was adopted at birth and has brought tremendous joy to his family from day one.
At first glance, most people may not realize Heyden has struggled his entire life with mental health conditions from his birthmother’s drug use during pregnancy, including severe anxiety, depression including suicidal thoughts, ADHD and mood stability including issues with anger and mood regulation. Heyden also used to experience difficulty sleeping and panic attacks. These “invisible” conditions aren’t always obvious to people on the surface but they are very real. Heyden works really hard at managing his mental health conditions but sometimes needs a little help.
In March of 2017 at age 11, Heyden met COLLIER! COLLIER is a sweet and energetic golden who stepped in to help Heyden when he needed him most. COLLIER anchors Heyden when he is anxious or upset, performs negative behavior interruption and alerts to Heyden’s anxiety. Since bringing COLLIER home, Heyden no longer experiences panic attacks in public and has an overall reduced state of anxiety. COLLIER helped Heyden through those crucial pre-teen years, and as a part of Heyden’s overall mental health plan, helped reduce suicidal thoughts. Heyden is now a thriving teenager with his favorite sidekick.