Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery

Severe and persistent mental illness can affect a person’s ability to function in daily life. But with the right help, there is hope.

Left untreated, conditions such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder can have severe consequences. Individuals with these illnesses may find it difficult to maintain personal relationships, live independently and keep steady jobs.

Careful intervention, counseling and support are the keys to changing that narrative.

Finding Peace

Our Lady of Peace in Louisville, part of KentuckyOne Health, has an intensive outpatient program that provides help to those who are living with severe and persistent mental illnesses. These groups incorporate the recovery model, focusing on building resilience and coping skills to improve patients’ daily experiences and long-term well-being.

“There’s a definition of recovery that we use in the group,” said Heather Marcus, LCSW, intensive outpatient therapist at Our Lady of Peace. “We say recovery is a process by which a person overcomes the challenges presented by a mental illness to live a life of meaning and purpose.”

Daily Improvement

Peer support plays an important role in the group therapy process. The psychotherapy groups Marcus leads meet five days a week and welcome people at all stages of their recovery. Members of the group work toward learning ways to manage the symptoms of their illnesses while strengthening their relationships with friends and family.

“People can join the group on the same day that others are graduating,” Marcus said. “That helps new attendees see it is possible to make progress and feel better; graduates are examples of hope that recovery is possible.”

During and after the program, Our Lady of Peace offers supplemental resources for patients and family members to help ensure they maintain the positive momentum started in group counseling. These include a no-charge, after-care program that lasts six months after graduation, multiple on-site family support groups and a long-acting injection clinic to make it easier for eligible patients to receive their long-acting, anti-psychotic medication.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Our Lady of Peace offers a comprehensive array of clinical behavioral health services. For more information or for a no-charge assessment, call the Assessment and Referral Center at 502.451.3333 (Louisville) or 859.313.3515 (Central/Eastern Kentucky).

Six Steps to Beat the Blahs

Six Steps to Beat the Blahs
There are ways to overcome cloudy, gloomy days.

“The wintertime and holidays can be difficult for many people suffering from depression or grieving the loss of a loved one,” said Kelly Gillooly, MEd, LCADC, director of behavioral health outreach at Our Lady of Peace (OLOP), part of KentuckyOne Health. “For those who struggle with depression during the holiday months, it’s important to not dwell on what the holidays are supposed to be like or how you’re supposed to feel.”

 

One Foot Forward

 

  1. Accept help from others — whether it’s with cooking, shopping or decorating.
  2. Avoid alcohol and other substances used to self-medicate.
  3. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the perfect holiday.
  4. Find someone you can turn to when you’re feeling stressed.
  5. Get some exercise. Physical activity can help relieve depression.
  6. Give yourself permission to grieve if you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one.

“If you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Everyone needs support from time to time in their lives,” Gillooly said.

 

Need help finding peace and hope during the holidays or colder months?

 

Please do not hesitate to call — day or night — Our Lady of Peace’s Assessment and Referral Center. Our Lady of Peace is open 24/7 and offers assessments at no charge.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health Magazine. Want more behavioral health information like this? Subscribe to One Health Magazine to hear from experts.