Thank you for stopping by to learn about my mental health project. I’d like to share what it’s about, first a bit about me — My name is Meredith, I’m a thirty-something California native living in San Francisco. I have a diagnosis of clinical depression, major anxiety, and ADHD. I’m enrolled full time in the School of Social Work at SFSU, I work part time, I enjoy music, books, pizza, the outdoors, dancing, and my friends and family. I live a full life, but there was a time not that long ago where I enjoyed none of the above, including life itself. My illness consumed my entire twenties. I was fortunate enough to find my way to the other side of it, but it was the fight of and, for my life. I found my purpose along my journey to wellness, and that’s why I’ve begun this project.
The problem I can help solve:
- The mental health care system is broken. Via private or public care, the key piece that’s missing is the necessary follow up, and follow through on both medication and therapy, i.e. a continuum of care.
- Lack of guidance on how to go about acquiring and navigating care or insurance.
- Lack of substantial coordination of community resources, as well as comprehensive formation and execution of a recovery plan for each individual.
- The system fails to persevere with care when the patient lacks the wherewithal. Forcing someone who struggles to make it day to day to advocate for their own care in a broken system is cruel. There needs to be a service within the system to bridge the gaps.
- The path to mental health is an arduous one that often leaves people feeling like abandoned, disheartened lab rats who, in spite of their best efforts, often fall off the path because they don’t know what to do or to whom they can turn to for support, guidance, and much needed hope.
How I plan to solve it:
- I’ve built a service open to everyone 18 and over, based on the peer perspective of my own experience in navigating, bending, and pooling mental health care resources to help chart a path to wellness for those who feel they need help getting help.
- Providing facilitation and third-party accountability in order to focus on the individual’s bigger picture. No two paths to wellness are alike. To try and shuffle vastly different cases through a very narrow, disorganized system with no checks and balances to ensure people stay the course is failing them and they’re falling through the cracks.
- The path is tailored specifically to your needs, to be shaped over time through evaluation of your current state and end goals at regular intervals, with comprehensive follow up ensuring you’re seen through to achieving your goals.
- Think of it as a personal road map allowing you to circumvent the gaps, thereby wasting less of your valuable resources, to get your life back on track faster and more easily by someone who is invested in your wellness.
What I can do for you as an individual, and our community:
- I want to see the entire mental health care community working together to create a cohesive, welcoming environment of wellness, advocacy, and access to care.
- I want to see a society that is educated on mental illness that has broken down the stigma, and can approach the topic with open minds and hearts.
- I want to see individuals who are happy to be alive, can hold down a job, take care of themselves and their families, get off the streets, who are doing the things they love, and loving what they do.
- I want to see those afflicted with mental illness and their loved ones who care for them be able to live the most free, fulfilling, and happy lives they possibly can in spite of the challenges they face.
- I want those in their darkest days to know that someone is always there for them when they feel lost, to know that someone is invested in their recovery, to feel safe and secure reaching out for help, and to feel hope for themselves and their future.
- I want to completely change the way mental health is regarded and the way care is administered. I plan to begin one person at a time, then one city at a time starting here in San Francisco, eventually bringing my service standards to every major city in the country I can.
- I am not a health care professional in any way, nor do I plan to dispense health care in any way. I am here to advise, advocate, educate, navigate, and instill hope as a peer.
- This project is a work in progress. My guidance will be based on trial and error as all mental health care already is.
- I do not have personal experience with all mental illnesses. I am more than willing to help anyone facing any mental illness with the understanding on your part that your illness may be new to me but I can still help advocate for you.
- I’m a resource for an objective and clear path to recovery, attempting to test my proof of concept, not a therapist or an emotional outlet.
- Any information provided to me either verbal or written will be kept strictly confidential.
What I am looking for:
- Individuals afflicted with any type of mental illness who feel they need help getting help. This is a free of charge service.
- Those who truly want to get better, who want to take their lives back, and want to become empowered to do so.
- Those who live in the Bay Area and are willing to meet with me in person.
- If this speaks to you at all, and you understand that this project is in beta mode, I invite you to contact me via the form below.
Thank you for your interest in my project, I look forward to hearing from you!