Milestones are important times in all of our lives. What a milestone is varies according to each individual and some are harder than others to reach. For those completing the requirements in our Group Home program, graduation is one of those milestones and Brian is proud to have reached it. Brian is a client in our FACT program and a recent graduate of the Group Home.
The FACT program provides intensive, community-based treatment, rehabilitation and support services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness who have not responded well to traditional treatment. As a part of that treatment, some FACT clients also participate in our Group Home program, a 24-hour residential program for adults experiencing symptoms of mental illness which may be interfering with their life activities and preventing them from being successful at living independently. The average length of stay in the Group Home is one year and clients must complete a 5-step program to graduate.
Brian is one of those clients who is happy to say he completed the requirements and has graduated from the Group Home. He explains that the final stage of his time in the Group Home included learning how to do things such as budgeting and managing his medications. He says they make sure you are “fully capable of handling anything that can come up to you in life.”
He also points out that each client has to put in a lot of effort to reach the goals set before them. “It’s not a cake walk,” said Brian. “It’s hard work.” Brian explains that he was in the Group Home one time before but was unable to maintain the requirements to stay in the home and did not graduate. This last time he was determined that he would succeed.
“The key is to find ways to cope with whatever is troubling you,” said Brian. “If it’s a work thing, then you find a way to cope with that. If it’s a living situation, you change it if it can be changed.”
Another important part of reaching this milestone is having a support system around you. While the Group Home serves as a support system during a client’s stay there, clients are also encouraged to build a support system outside of the program so they still have that support after graduating from the Group Home.
Brian is quick to state that his father has always been his biggest support and has always been there. His father saw there were problems that needed to be addressed when Brian was still in school. “He knew something was wrong,” said Brian. “I had problems with taking tests and with school in general and was even held back a year. He encouraged me to see someone. Dad is one hundred percent a part of my support system.”
For those who wonder if the time spent in the Group Home is beneficial to clients, they can just ask Brian. “The Group Home changes lives,” said Brian.