This is What Determination Plus Assistance Can Do

Did you know that many of our 10 partner agencies offer services that support mental health? Through the programs offered by our partners, individuals are finding hope again.

Here is just one of hundreds of stories about personal resilience and the dedicated work of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark

Residential counselor Aleisia Freeman, left, with Erasmo

In just under a decade, the life of Erasmo has changed drastically. 

Almost 40, he has schizophrenia, and came to the Catholic Charities/Mount Carmel Guild residential program in 2010 after experiencing a mental health crisis that saw him hospitalized for more than a year. 

As we see commonly with those who are living with untreated mental illness, he also had been homeless several times.

After Erasmo was stabilized, he was admitted to a group home, where he began to learn independence: the importance of taking his medication regularly and staying educated about his mental illness. He developed coping skills to help deal with his feelings and symptoms of mental illness. 

During this time, Erasmo attended Catholic Charities’ Mount Carmel Guild Partial Care program every day, attending groups and continuing his personal advocacy education. Once he began to thrive in the group home, he transitioned to an apartment facility.

Upon graduating from the Partial Care program in 2018, Erasmo began serving as a role model and peer to other residents in the program. 

He credits Catholic Charities/Mount Carmel Guild Partial Care program for providing what he needed to learn how to face reality: care, education and assistance. He said:

“This place has brightened up my life and eased the pain of being homeless. I feel braver about my life. I have people who help me. I know that I can utilize my counselors, staff, and doctors.”

We love this story.

  1. A young man was able to experience independence from the challenges that often face individuals with mental illness.
  2. The programs offered by Catholic Charities are better as a result of residents like Erasmo.
  3. He paid that experience forward by serving as an example to his peers in the program. 

Isn’t that exciting? We think so!

I am sure you have stories of your own that are a testimony to the power of persistence and determination—stories from your own vault, or stories from loved ones who’ve overcome obstacles. 

We’d love to hear them and be encouraged. Tell us in the COMMENT SECTION below!

We hope you’ll consider supporting our partner agencies who offer assistance to individuals like Erasmo who are experiencing mental illness, like Children’s Aid and Family Services, Nutley Family Service Bureau, Family Service League, and more. You can give to all of these agencies with one donation here.

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