Jenny is a 59 year old mother of two who has battled mental illness for most of her adult life. As the child of an alcoholic mother, she struggled to cope with her mother’s addiction and the lack of an appropriate role model. Shortly after her twin boys were born, they were removed from her home due to neglect and placed in a foster home. She was diagnosed at the time with depression and began the long road to get her children back. She says, “I felt terrible and like the world was ending. I spent a year in counseling at the David Lawrence Centers and took parenting classes so that I could get them back.”
Until a recent incident with her roommates about a year ago, Jenny managed to get by without additional treatment. She explains, “There was an argument and I basically went to pieces. I just broke down. I started burning things and had a knife. My roommate tried to get the knife away from me and I threw it at him.” She was charged with aggravated assault. Due to her history with mental illness and her mental state at the time of the incident, she was referred to David Lawrence Center’s forensic services program which helps individuals who are being processed through the legal system and have been found incompetent to proceed due to their mental condition. Through the program she was referred and linked to a variety of services that would help her regain stability, learn more about her illness and gain a clear understanding of the charges against her and the legal process.
Jenny is now diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She started receiving medications for her illness for the first time in her life and began to see real results. She is currently maintaining her stability through psychiatric medical services, individual therapy and psychosocial rehabilitation. She adds, “At David Lawrence Centers, everyone is so nice and takes a personal interest in you. My counselors have helped me get to know myself and become more aware of my illness. They work with me to make sure I am taking care of myself, staying on my medications and helping me realize how much I have going for me.” Today, Jenny is learning to live effectively with her illness and is now working on getting a job through the Center’s supported employment program. She adds, “I don’t know what I would have done without the help I received. My experience with David Lawrence Centers has been wonderful.”