More than 20 years ago (2001), my son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Having had to navigate the often-confusing waters of mental hospitals, treatment plans, while simultaneously dealing with the lack of affordable care options that included peer supports, job supports, and school supports, I finally got “mad as hell” and decided to do something about it.
In 2016, after more than 20 years working in high tech, I quit my job to become a Mental Health Advocate. Rather without a clue what that would mean.
I had already been working with McLean Hospital, having established The Living Assistance Fund to financially support individuals needing residential care at Appleton. I quickly discovered two things: that takes a lot of money, and I don’t like fundraising.
At that time, I was discussing the possibility of establishing a PACT program at McLean Hospital to address the type of care folks needed at a lower cost. I thought that I’d still need to solve the housing problem but agreed to do the fundraising to establish a PACT program at McLean Hospital which opened in Oct. 2017.