As President & CEO, I am fortunate to witness the miracles that come from the programs and services offered at the Mental Health Association of Morris County. Our outreach to people living with severe and persistent mental illness in hospitals, jails, and on the street, saves lives, tax dollars, and gives a path to hope and recovery. Programs like our Libby T. Dorl Educational Assistance Fund offer a route to improved self-worth, employment, and success. Our self-help, advocacy, and education programs continue to help people to live healthy and satisfying lives. I hope you will continue supporting these programs by making a donation today.
I want to share a moving story told to me by a woman who I’ll call ’Jan’ who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with delusions - thanks to you we have helped her change her life. I’ve changed some details to protect her identity:
“I became homeless over 20 years ago. I didn’t even know I was sick.
My two children were taken by the government because they said it was not safe for them to be living with me on the streets. I was devastated when they were taken.
Sometimes I lived in a tent in the woods, and sometimes I slept in a car. It took all my energy to find food, and I often was cold and hungry.
I remember so clearly the day Beth saw me on the street and told me she would help me. Beth visited me every day until I agreed to move into a motel. Then she kept coming to see me at the motel to make sure I was ok.
Beth told me that talking to someone could help me feel better and after two months I finally agreed to talk to a Doctor where she worked. Over time, I finally started to understand I had an illness and I could get help. I started taking medication and began to feel a little better.
The next step was getting an apartment. I did not think it was possible. Again, Beth helped me with rental assistance. I moved in but I was so used to sleeping on the ground that at first I couldn’t sleep on the bed. I slept on the floor for six months until I got used to living indoors. I would also only make phone calls from my car until eventually, Beth helped me feel safe enough to make calls from my own apartment.
Each day Beth helped me face new challenges. She even went to court with me and helped me get permission to see my children again. Now I get to see them every month!
That was the first time I felt joy in many years.
I have a job now, was even named employee of the month, and I am off Welfare.
Although I deal with my illness on a daily basis, I now have hope and gratitude for the first time in my life. I am grateful to Beth and the Mental Health Association of Morris County. You helped me when I was so ill I didn’t even know I had nothing!”
‘Jan’ made me promise to tell her story so that others like her can get help. I am asking you to renew or even increase your tax deductible donation now so we can help others we have not yet reached.
Louis A. Schwarcz
President & CEO
Mental Health Association of Morris County
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