(The names of these individuals have been changed to protect their privacy)
Betty R. suffered with depression, was bleeding intermittently, had no health insurance and was homeless. She called MAMH looking for help. We arranged fro a free medical examination, which disclosed Betty needed day surgery. We got Betty enrolled in MassHealth, which paid for the surgery. We also assisted with the eligibility process for Betty to become a client of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and a recipient of rental assistance. We found her temporary housing in a shelter and began a housing search. It took time, but we found Betty an apartment in Boston, and MAMH volunteers assisted in securing furniture donations to make it a home. Today, Betty has a nice home, a part-time job and is a student pursuing a career in music production at a local university.
Phyllis, David and Mark
Phyllis and David K had three children one of whom is Mark, who has a mental illness.
Mark graduated from a community college and enlisted in the Navy. He served three years and then went to work for the federal government. Life seemed good for Mark - He had a job, a nice apartment and a full life ahead of him.
Then Mark got sick.
Phyllis and David were on vacation. And when they got home, Mark was in a psychiatric ward. Over the next year a series of hospitalizations followed, and Phyllis and David went through all the heartaches and disappointments a family incurs when mental illness strikes. Mark lost his job, his apartment, and seemingly his future.
When all this happened, David and Phyllis were retired. David went back to work and they placed Mark in a private residential setting. For the next several years, they gave up their retirement and paid out thousands of dollars to private programs for Mark's care.
Then they came to MAMH for help.
MAMH helped the family through the application process with the Department of Mental Health, and provided assistance with other issues as the family waited for a community placement for Mark.
Today, Mark is living in a community group home in a suburb of Boston. He has friends and a part-time job. Phyllis and David have their retirement back, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing their son will be cared for after they are gone.
Keisha K had difficulty at school. She was a shy eighth grader who was failing math, had few friends and lived with her grandparents because her mother was fighting a terminal illness. Keisha enrolled in MAMH's Kids on Campus Program. She received "one-on one" tutoring in math from a volunteer undergraduate student at Boston College. The tutor provided Keisha with academic assistance and became an important role model in Keisha's life. The tutor taught Keisha study skills and stressed the importance of education. Keisha stayed with the program through high school and was accepted at Boston College. While a student at BC, she volunteered as a tutor in the Kids On campus Program. Today, Keisha is a Boston schoolteacher helping other youngsters experience success.
Bruce T is 46 years old and has spent much of his adult life struggling with addiction, bipolar disorder, depression and homelessness. He was unable to maintain a job, or a home. He bounced in and out of shelters, programs and the streets. He lived the life of an addict with mental illness, which is to say he did not have a life, only an existence shrouded in uncertainty, anxiety and hopelessness. Bruce got help from MAMH and the Department of Mental Health. Bruce is now living in supported housing developed though a coalition of supporters on the site of the former Boston State Hospital. Bruce is talking classes at Roxbury Community College and hopes to work in landscaping. To quote Bruce, "I now like my life very much. I've got a nice place to live, and I'm grateful for it."