“I thought I would lose my mind. Coming to Metropolitan saved me. I was a person I didn’t even recognize. Now I’m so much stronger.”
Angela was a straight-A business student until a series of traumatic events led her to confine herself to her room. After surviving two attempted assaults, a home invasion and the loss of her unborn child, she was severely depressed.
Angela found help at our Southeast Chicago center. With comprehensive care from our adult mental health team, she recovered from post-traumatic stress disorder and life-threatening depression.
“Metropolitan saw me right away,” Angela shared. “I felt safe. I talked to a psychiatrist, and he said medication and therapy would help me. He was right. Three years, later I’m no longer on meds. I’m happy.”
We provide a full range of rehabilitative services,” explains Program Director Jean Xoubi. “Our clients often are very, very ill when they come to us.”
It’s the holistic approach that makes the difference. On any given month, we may offer over a dozen group options, in addition to individual counseling and psychiatric care. Some groups focus on specific practices like dialectical behavior therapy. Others build life skills, like cooking, budgeting and wellness.
Angela made the most of every opportunity. “It was wonderful. It’s so freeing … like a burden has been lifted. “It’s amazing when you’re able to overcome something. I graduated from the program this summer and I’m so happy.”
“I’ve been asked to become a peer mentor,” she continues. Mentors go through formal training to help others who face similiar challenges. She’s also taking classes to become a certified recovery specialist.
“I want to bring a grief and loss ministry to my church.” Any loss — a loved one, a job, the home — can trigger grief, she explains. “You wonder, ‘How am I going to cope?’ It helps to have somebody safe you can talk to.”
Angela has also become an advocate. Her story was featured in a March Sun-Times’ article about the elimination of state funds for psychiatric care. Unless funding is restored, the entire mental health practice is at risk, because only doctors can prescribe medication or diagnose medical conditions.
So Angela is taking a stand. She has experienced the pain, and with appropriate care, she recovered. She knows that for many Illinois families, the stakes are life or death. It’s a serious matter, but she emanates hope.
“Too many people at Metropolitan care about your success for you to fail. I’ve never seen a place where so many people root for you.”