Monday, August 17, 2009

HSS Story Featured in United Way Newsletter

The United Way of Greater St. Louis recently featured a story about the accomplishments of a woman in our agency’s residential services program in their on-line newsletter. Linda’s efforts to become more independent were detailed to show that with the help of agencies like HSS and the support of the United Way, people with disabilities can have success and enjoyment in life. Human Support Services receives generous support from the United Way that helps us meet the housing needs of adults with mental health related disabilities. Linda’s story is as follows:

Mental health problems affect people of all ages in this community, and some individuals are unable to find the help they need. With your donations, United Way is able to provide aid to help keep people like Linda Hatch healthy, help them find jobs and become independent.
Linda, 42, has mild developmental disabilities and bipolar disorder. She was placed at a local nursing home due to several suicide attempts. In December 2002, she came to Human Support Services, a United Way-funded agency since 1985.
Her adjustment there was difficult, but in 2005, she transitioned to the supported employment program and began working at a local nursing home. Thanks to this job and her Human Support Services financial case manager, she was able to pay off the thousands of dollars in medical bills which were not covered by Medicaid.
In November 2007, she was able to move into her own apartment with no supervision, but maintains a case manager to ensure that she has the necessary access to meet her medical, social and financial needs.
"Linda is happy to tell anyone that will listen how hard she has worked and how far she has come," says Bobbi Walters, residence site manager. Read more about Linda.
Want to know more about mental health? Here's five quick facts:
1. Some mental disorders are depression, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction to drugs and alcohol and personality disorders.
2. Half of all cases of mental disorders begin by age 14, and three-quarters begin by age 24. However, there are often long delays between the onset of symptoms and when people seek help.
3. Almost half of Americans who have been diagnosed for one mental disorder have symptoms that meet criteria for an additional mental disorder.
4. One in five children may have a mental disorder, but fewer than half of these children receive the help or the services they need. One in five elderly Americans are diagnosed with a mental disorder as well, but fewer than 25 percent of these individuals receive mental health attention.
5. About one in four adults suffer from a mental disorder that can be diagnosed, but fewer than one-third receive the help or the services they need.