12 Nov Lost in the Mental Health Wilderness
Vail Place donor Janet T. describes the three years after her daughter’s mental health diagnosis as “wandering in the mental health wilderness.” Janet’s daughter went from being a hopeful college student to someone who simply couldn’t function, experiencing multiple hospitalizations only to be released with a prescription and nothing else for support. Janet lived in Orono at the time and had no idea of how, or whom, she could reach out to for help.
Finally a caseworker suggested Vail Place and the tide began to turn for the entire family. Janet’s daughter has now been a member of Vail Place for over 20 years and her last hospitalization was in 1995. Because of this experience, Janet and her family are financial supporters of Vail Place, regularly participate in the annual Vail Place Roll & Stroll for Mental Health: Tour de Vail, and have created even more ways to help the organization and those they serve.
“Until it touches you personally, you don’t realize how big the problem is in our society,” says Janet. “Supporting Vail Place like this is one way I can play a small role in what is truly a national crisis.”
Because Janet’s family is in the apartment business, they are also able to give back in another way. After meeting with Vail Place Executive Director Vicky Couillard a year ago, they began assisting qualified Vail Place members with housing needs. Right now their apartments have four Vail Place members as tenants.
“The big thing I realized for my daughter was that Vail Place was somewhere people understood her situation. It is a community of people dealing with the same things she is dealing with,” Janet says. “After finding Vail Place, she no longer felt like she was the only person with these problems.”
In the past, Janet has contributed during Give to the Max Day. Just this past month, however, she became a Vail Place pledge donor.