PREVENTION And EARLY INTERVENTION
D.S. was referred from NAMI. DS had been a student in a southern California University when his symptoms of bipolar disorder forced him to return home. The PEI program assisted and support D.S. in enrolling at Cabrillo College, connecting him with the Disabled Student Services at Cabrillo, completing a resume, connecting him with the Department of Rehabilitation, and supported him with the application process to enroll at SJSU in the fall to pursue a degree in Kinesiology. In addition, through the support of PEI staff, D.S. has learned new ways to advocate for himself to his mental health providers and his academic counselors. D.S. has recently started to volunteer at a local high school as an assistant to the track coach.
Through the Avenues program and continued commitment to wellness and recovery, S.K. has been able to do something that has eluded him his entire adult life; stay clean, sober and out of jail. “I have been clean for 22 months”, he says with a large smile on his face. “I live in a studio behind my mom’s house by the beach and am taking guitar classes at Cabrillo”. The Avenues program referred S.K. to College Connection to help him with registering for classes at Cabrillo College. S.K. has been a role model for the rest of the program participants in showing that it is possible for participants to live independently, maintain mental health stability, and stay clean and sober on the road to recovery.
D.B was referred from the Transition Team to assist her in finding a volunteer job. She was shy and withdrawn. Housing Support Staff vocationally assessed what kind of volunteer job she wanted to do and what would suit her skills and interests. D.B. wanted to volunteer close to home, and one where she could work quietly by herself if she was experiencing symptoms. She also wanted to have the choice to interact with staff or volunteers if she was feeling social.
Before making the placement, staff introduced her to Jacobs Heart where she was given a tour and met some of the volunteers and staff. Staff supported D.B. in filling out a volunteer application and provided interview training as well as transportation to her interview with Jacobs Heart.
D.B. was successfully placed at Jacob’s Heart! She now reports that she enjoys volunteering making greeting cards for children with cancer. D.B enjoys the benefit of interacting with other volunteers and staff if she wants to, or just sitting quietly and making greeting cards and not interacting with anyone, if she is experiencing symptoms. She has successfully maintained her volunteer job for 3 months.
C.D. was diagnosed with schizophrenia along with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He is challenged with managing his psychiatric symptoms along with his poor short-term memory. Staff assisted C.D. with registering for the appropriate classes that meet his mental health needs. Staff worked closely with him to develop a transportation plan, and a system to track class assignments and expectations (writing everything in his planner/organizer). He reviews this organizer several times a day. Staff support him with managing psychiatric symptoms and maintaining self-care. He attended classes on a regular basis this semester which built his confidence and self-esteem. He successfully completed 2 Kinesiology classes and English 110 for Fall 2012.
PROJECT HOME BASE
H.I. has been struggling with the effects of mental illness for many years, but has recently engaged the Project Home Base program to address some of his parallel issues. PHB assisted this participant on several occasions to overcome financial, transportation and emotional obstacles. He also had some health-related dental problems. The PHB staff was able to coordinate support amongst his previous case manager, his therapist, and his dentist to deal with his substantial dental concerns, including fear of pain and implants. With the help of PHB, H.I. initiated contact with INS & Homeland Security to renew his green card and forward his citizenship paperwork. He is now working part-time as a volunteer at two non-profit stores.
Over this past year M.P. reported experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. M.P. lacked focus during groups and often presented as being internally preoccupied and fatigued. He has made much progress. He currently attends and participates in groups on a regular basis, is more focused, alert and social. He has demonstrated more effective coping skills to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. He has also started leading peer support groups and is an integral part of the Opportunity Connection program.
E.L. has been a Career Services participant for 6 years. Due to her disability she required minimal work hours, single-task receptionist duties, and a high level of structure. Her case was open for this duration due to major medication changes, and a gradual decrease in her functional and employment abilities. Career Services staff was able to support her with obtaining and maintaining this type of work. E.L. showed consistency and follow through during the time that her case was open. With the support of the Career Services program, E.L. was able to increase her hours as an on-call Program Assistant with SCCCC. She continues to work as a volunteer at the Volunteer Center. She says that she is happy with her job, and expresses gratitude for the support from Career Services.
MARIPOSA WELLNESS PROGRAM
A student from CSU Monterey Bay approached the Program Coordinator of the Mariposa Wellness Program inquiring about an internship placement. He mentioned that he had heard how the program supports and welcomes those who are challenged and disabled. His name is L.T. and he is blind. L.T. was eager to work with the program, and was confident that he could succeed despite his physical disability. “I have the technology that would help me to read your templates, enabling me to perhaps write progress notes and do group facilitations,” he explained.
The Program Coordinator knew that the physical challenge that L.T. lived with was an opportunity for the program to learn and adapt to supporting people with physical disabilities as well as mental health disabilities. After some initial training and some support with getting familiar with the computer software that L.T. brought to assist him with documentation, it became very obvious that L.T. could truly be an asset to the program.
The Program Coordinator informed Luis’ instructors at CSUMB that the Mariposa program would be accepting Luis for the internship. CSUMB quickly replied back to inform the Program Coordinator that 10 other agencies had previously denied Luis the opportunity to work with their programs because of his disability. Luis has expressed his gratitude to the program and to the entire organization. He shared how his journey now can be initiated thanks to the Mariposa Wellness Program.