“A Recovery Plan That I Understood,” Steve’s Psych Rehab Story

My mental health diagnosis and recovery started when I was in my 40’s. Pre-diagnosis, I was using drugs and/or alcohol regularly, every day. If I was having mental health issues, they weren’t being recognized.  I felt the problems I dealt with were from the substance abuse.

While recovering from physical injuries due to an accident, I was able to quit the using substances. Years later, when I should have been doing better, I wasn’t.  I didn’t know why. Through the years there where multiple suicide attempts, in-patient hospital stays, and eventually a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I had a hard time accepting that I had a mental health disorder. I suppose that was the stigma I had towards mental health.

After my marriage ended, I moved into my own place. For about 3 years, I completely isolated myself in my apartment. I would grocery shop and check mail in the middle of the night, so I didn’t have to be around people. It wasn’t long for that to start being comfortable to me, so, I didn’t recognize any problem with doing it.  I seemed content.

“I HAD A HARD TIME ACCEPTING THAT I HAD A MENTAL HEALTH DISORDER. I SUPPOSE THAT WAS THE STIGMA THAT I HAD TOWARDS MENTAL HEALTH.”

Then, the Beacon Hub Drop-In-Center opened on the first floor of my apartment building. I did not know what it was and had no interest to find out. One day I saw that they were offering free hot dogs and that’s what got me in the door. My first question was, “What is this place?”  It was explained somewhat to me, but I still wasn’t sure.  However, the explanation was enough to keep me going back.

The Beacon Hub became the new normal for me.  I found staff and participants who genuinely cared about me and I found it easy to care about them. I quickly found myself wanting to be around my new friends/peers.  I started feeling understood and accepted.   That was the start of my mental health recovery program

I was connected to resources that I knew nothing about prior. I participated in Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation as soon as I learned about it.  That is when I started figuring things out. I started setting goals. I worked on the steps to attain them. I learned that I had a desire to help others. That is soon what I set my goal as. The skills I learned and connections I made while participating in the mobile program made a world of difference in my life and recovery. Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation helped me build a recovery plan that I understood; I felt like it was attainable, and it gave me the desire to want it.

“I STARTED FEELING UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED. THAT WAS THE START OF MY MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY PROGRAM.”

Now, five years later, I am employed by Skills.  I reached my goal of becoming a Certified Peer Specialist.  I have a role in the Lock Haven Site-Based Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program that I absolutely love.


Receiving Psych Rehab Services with Skills

Psych Rehab Services at Skills of Central PA are available in Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Jefferson, and Lycoming Counties.

Please contact us today to get connected to services near you.