Less than two years ago, a consumer we’ll call Tom, came to LifeWorks NW for help. When he first came to us, he was suffering with Schizophrenia and depression, and had been homeless for 12 years. He also was using methamphetamines.
Because he was very guarded and suspicious, Tom initially was difficult to engage with. After a period of adjustment, Tom stabilized enough to begin working with one of our licensed medical practitioners to begin medication for his mental health issues. Tom reports that the medication helped him feel more stabilized.
Our holistic approach and integrated teams (including Intensive Care Management, Chemical Dependency, Medication and Care Coordination) ensure Tom’s medical and mental health needs are being met. By working closely with our Intensive Care Management team, Tom was able to start using community resources and access housing opportunities.
With the team’s support, Tom now has housing, new glasses and dentures. He is happy, eating, confident and sober. He was able to get his SSI restored and has focused on getting himself new clothing and things for the household.
Asked about his story, Tom says he feels so good, he wants others to see how you can make changes and feel good about yourself.
For consumers experiencing severe and persistent mental illness, there is not a one-time fix. Tom continues to work with all of his integrated team members, who support him each step of the way. When Tom first became eligible for dentures, and needed additional Care Coordination, he was initially hesitant about working with a new staff member. But with support from the team, he was able to develop confidence in the coordinator and in himself and able to negotiate the services. His care coordinator then helped him access Ride to Care for all six required appointments.
“He is a rock star,” says Alison, Tom’s care coordinator.
While Tom continues to need LifeWorks NW’s support, he is happy, confident and sober.
“I feel happy now,” Tom says.