GoFundMe Mentally Ill Housing Initiative

I’ve been working on my autobiography, Renewal Of The Mind: The Upside to Schizophrenia for a while now. My initial goal was to share hope for families, awareness of mental illness for the community, and how I was changed at my core for the better based on his diagnosis. My WHY has changed over the years as my son lost everything he had, including his job, from a dysfunctional relationship. Revenge took the life he had created since his initial schizophrenia diagnosis 11 years ago. He was working full time, in school, and contributing to society. For the last three months, he has lived in his car because housing is unavailable. There’s an 8-year waiting list, and the shelters are already overflowing.

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I’m tired of hearing that’s just the way it is and allowing stigma to determine his destiny. An associate suggested creating a community event to raise funds for a housing initiative. I decided to take this on, but for others who have lost their voice, not just my son. There are many homeless, employable clients that simply need support getting back on their feet. This disease is cyclical and there is no cure, which means it’s possible the person will continue to cycle through fresh starts every three years. I want to put a program in place to help with their recovery, as many times as it takes. I created a Gofundme page to generate funds for the event I want to hold later this year. There will be a panel of speakers, a meal, and entertainment. Proceeds will create housing with support programs for those active in their recovery and employable. 1 in 5 adults suffers from mental illness, which means many lives are impacted across the globe.

I’m reaching out to the WordPress community, asking for your support in donating and sharing my cause. My link is below, along with an inside look at schizophrenia by a college student that created a program to support the mentally ill when they are struck down on campus. The disease usually strikes at college age, as it did my son. Cecilia committed to help their recovery and provide hope, as Schizophrenia is a disease of isolation. I want to do the same.

https://www.gofundme.com/mental-illness-housing-initiative

 

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Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Mental Illness

I’m finally at the end stage of my first book, Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Mental Illness. Pregnant with it for two years, I can’t wait to give birth! My son was diagnosed a Paranoid Schizophrenic almost 11 years ago and his breakdown was the genesis of my own mental shift. An upside (of many shared) in my life, of this debilitating disease, was my decision to place myself in a better financial position by eliminating debt (which I was married too and drowning in). Along with the stress and fear of the unknown, mental illness can also create a financial burden.  At $200.00 per week, his medication was the equivalent to my mortgage and had the potential to bankrupt me had I been responsible for payment. I followed Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball, working two to three jobs for 7 years and gave debt a black eye (accomplished in 2015!). Although reprieves are possible, there is no cure for schizophrenia so I knew I needed to plan ahead.

At the end of my story, I’d like to share ideas for upgrades to our mental illness system. For example, a major pet peeve is that the family has no say in the treatment unless the client fills out a release of information. Of course, they have to think something is wrong with them in order to do that, so odds are against it. When my son was positive he was Jesus and I the Virgin Mary (I was honored, lol), I was still turned away by the system when trying to force him into treatment. He has to be a danger to himself or others, which basically means someone has to get hurt first (something isn’t quite right here). If you’ve ever wondered why the parents didn’t stop the massacres their children committed, it’s simply because we have no power once the client is over 18. It’s extremely frustrating to watch your child unravel and there’s nothing you can do but wait (in prayer if you are a believer) until they hit the pavement. My prayers also asked that no one is with him when he lands! My son and the support group in his head flat out refused treatment and I was outvoted 3 to 1! I was told he has rights, I don’t, but lucky me, I’m allowed to pay his medical bills!

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Whether you’ve been touched directly (most know someone with a mental illness as even depression falls under that umbrella), indirectly (friend or family member suffered at the hands of a mentally ill person), or think not at all, please share your ideas which I will include with mine. Mental illness has the potential to touch and end the lives of anyone each time they leave the false security of home behind. That makes it a societal problem and it will take a community, maybe more, to change our current system which is as dysfunctional as the clients they serve! I aspire to be a part of the solution, not someone who simply bitches about the problem. Will you join me?

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