Attention: Melinda Mowry
I have been in the mental health system for 35 years. About a year and a half ago, I became homeless. My family was able to get a roof over my head at Chez Ami. I dropped into a deep depression and had been sleeping from about 9:00 p.m. at night to noon or two or three o'clock every day. I was pretty much hopeless about my future, as I haven't worked in 12 years and I turned 50 years old in January, 2006. I pretty much thought my life was over!
I signed up for S.P.I.R.I.T. at the suggestion of my care coordinator, who did not know much about the program, but thought it would be useful to get me on a schedule in which I had to be somewhere from 9 to 3 p.m. every day. The program, however, turned into much more than that for me. Not only have I been receiving a lot of self-help material to cope with my own mental health issues, I have been given hope. Hope that I can lean a productive and fulfilling life, hope that I can fulfill some of my dreams in life, and hope that I can volunteer in some way to kick off a new career. Also, I feel empowered to advocate for myself for my own needs, as well as that of others. I am part of a movement toward changing the mental health system. I am inspired that I would like to be an activist at the state level and that may actually be possible! The program has totally turned my life around in that I am leading a life during the daytime hours and I have been propelled out of my deep depression by the motivation I have been given by this program to become a person again, by the inspiration of dedicated leaders, and by the encouragement and support constantly being spread by this group. My recovery at this point is miraculous for me. I have real HOPE that my life can become better.