The following are a few of the stories we've received from people who have gotten help for psychosis and wanted to share their success!
John's Letter to the Senate HELP Committee
Dear Chair and Members of the Senate HELP Committee,
My name is John, I am a graduate of the Early Assessment and Support Alliance(EASA) program offered here in Oregon. The reason for my writing is to let you know how essential programs like EASA are for young adults who have experienced a psychosis or mental break. I entered the EASA program in 2010 and one year prior to that I experienced my first mental break. In one night it seemed like someone had flipped a switch in my brain that led me down a horrible path to the point where I was too afraid, paranoid and depressed to leave the safety and comfort of my room in my mothers basement. Without EASA I would still be that sad, paranoid, delusional mess. That is of course if I would have been able to sustain that kind of living. It also could have overwhelmed and consumed me and who knows where I would be if that were the case.
I graduated from EASA in 2012 and with the help of a few professionals that genuinely cared I became able to control my thoughts and consciously tell the difference between reality and delusion. From the case manager who went out of his way to spend hours of the day listening and helping me to the prescriber who worked with me through multiple medications to find what was right. One thing specifically that happened in the program was called the Multi Family Group. Here, multiple families met together to talk and discuss issues we were facing personally and things we were hoping to change. I learned many things from this but what first and foremost stood out to me was that I learned I was not as completely alone as I had been feeling for a year and a half prior. Through the Multi Family Group it also taught me valuable problem solving skills that I still use to this day. We would work together to create resolutions to an issue one of the group members had been facing.
I no longer need to take medication and live a completely somewhat normal life. At the age of 24 I work full time, am working towards a higher education and am completely self sustainable. I recently became indited to the Young Adult Leadership Council as apart of and working with the EASA program to help improve the lives of others who are experiencing the same traumatic issues I once faced. It has been said before but experiences like a psychosis or schizophrenia can be prevented with early intervention. EASA and other programs similar have a main goal that is simply nothing more then to help those in need.
I want to thank you and say that I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Your leadership is commendable and your commitment to the well being of families is needed and very much appreciated.John
Sam's Letter to the Senate HELP Committee
Today I am writing you to attempt to raise awareness of how excellent something like the Early Assessment And Support Alliance is. My name is Sam. I am a 21 year old from Portland, Oregon.. At the early age of 16, I experienced a traumatic schizophrenic episode that lasted a few weeks. I have suffered from a few other "episodes" related to psychosis.
Fiver years later, I am here today writing you from the other side of the pool. I have recovered because of EASA and they have given me the opportunity to share my experience and enlighten other youth that may have had similar things happen to them. Without a program like EASA, I believe I would have taken my own life. They were with me every second of the way for that 2 years, even when I pushed away. I like to call them my "professional" friends. I would have never entered college if it wasn't for them, or learned how to talk to my own mother. That all came possible simply because of a team of 5 to 7 people who dedicate their lives to help the troubled youth.
Programs like EASA are so important because they have constructed a philosophy and undying want to better peoples lives. I'd like to thank you guys for your urge to better the families of America and hope to see some change from this hearing.
Mike's Letter to the Senate HELP Committee
Dear Chair and Members of the Senate HELP Committee,
It is with great pleasure that I write you this letter. Being a young adult has plenty of obstacles on its own and with the added challenges of having a mental health diagnosis. EASA has been an integral part in understanding and living in an environment that is different from the mainstream society. With the counsel of a handful of individuals I was given the confidence and tools to cope with an otherwise detrimental condition, and allowed the comfort to be happy with who I am.
EASA has provided me with both the emotional and financial stability that prevented me from what the program calls "falling through the cracks"; becoming homeless and/or relying on illicit substances. Without an organization such as EASA, I fear I would currently lack the independence I have gained through their assistance. More specifically, I feel I would've more heavily relied on family or state resources to get through daily struggles. EASA is a necessity for a stigmatized population and will give a voice to those affected. I want to thank you for your time and consideration of programs like EASA that help our nation's youth.
I started to think there were Nazis everywhere, and that there was a conspiracy. I thought my mom was trying to poison me. I was so scared I just tried to avoid everybody. My friends kept telling me there was something wrong, that I needed some help. My mom and them introduced me to a counselor from EAST. It was hard to trust anybody, but I knew there was something wrong. I decided to try medicine, and it helped. The voices stopped and I could hardly believe I had thought people were trying to hurt me. Sometimes when things are stressful or if I get sick I still have a relapse. I have to watch my early warning signs, like sleep problems and noticing that colors are getting more intense. I just call the doctor if those things happen, and we keep things under control. I'm in college now, and I'm going into business. I've got lots of friends again, and I'm doing well in classes. Last summer I went to Europe on my own. So I guess I'd tell people, don't try to manage this on your own. You can do it, but you need help. And listen to the people you trust.
Letter from an "EASA Mom"
I talked to my daughter's PCP's nurse today. They said to have her eat a low fat diet, and that they would have her redo her blood test in three months. Tell Dr. Soto that we appreciate his advice, and appreciate that he is looking out for her physical and mental health.
I am so glad we were put in contact with EASA. Each of you is so supportive and gives good advice. I was overwhelmed and frightened for my daughter, but now feel we are supported by an awesome and caring team of professionals.