After my diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia in the summer of 2007, and release from the institution at the end of October I took baby steps to wellness. There is a process to recovery, but everybody may not do it in the same order or in the same manner. These are the steps I took toward recovery...
I applied for Supplemental Security Income, moved into an Independent Living home, and enrolled in a county day treatment program for youth with mental illness. Typically, people are denied Supplemental Security Income on their first attempt, however, I was not. I think I got approved on the first try because I had history with the State Hospital and I had a nurse help me with my application. It took six months to get benefits.
The day treatment program was great. I attended Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) classes, in addition to other classes geared toward mental illness awareness. I took a break from school and work for a few months, however, when I returned to school I took one class to take things slow. I spent five months in an Independent Living arrangement before I rented my own room with a family. I lived with the family for four months before reuniting with my mother and sister in another state. I moved from California back to Georgia to be with my family.
When I arrived in Georgia I went to the county mental health department for a doctor, medication, and therapy. I applied for Medicaid, but was denied, however, I enrolled in the Abilify Assistance Program and I am currently receiving medication through the program. I attended therapy weekly and then I went on to a marketing internship.
Because I planned on returning to school to recieve my bachelors in business and marketing I took the internship. Now the internship has ended and I am now volunteering my marketing talents toward a non-profit organization. My next step will be to enroll into school part-time and to take two or three classes.
How did you recover from mental illness? Do you know of any scholarships for mental illness for school?