Lovie is a mother, an artist, and an active community member. She was referred to Hope Network for case management services in March of 2015 following an extended stay in an inpatient psychiatric hospital.
Although Lovie previously had a successful career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), been married and had her own home, the intensity of her mental health symptoms resulted in multiple hospitalizations causing her to lose her job, her marriage, and her home. At the time she was referred to Hope Network, she had been hospitalized 11 times for acute psychiatric symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. She was also struggling with multiple chronic health conditions including Graves’ disease, hypothyroidism, and hypertension. She was also living with an untreated displaced hip, making ambulation very challenging for her.
Lovie was plagued by rapid and intense changes in her mood and devastating paranoia, debilitating her ability to manage relationships with other people and successfully handle her day to day life. She was severely depressed, experiencing homelessness and without any income to sustain her basic human needs. She was too fearful to access the community or take public transportation, limiting her engagement in the community and ability to follow up with necessary medical care.
Lovie’s treatment team was able to partner with her to assist her in accessing benefits including Medicaid and Social Security Disability. She received support around obtaining her own apartment and through patience and support of her team she began accessing the community using the public transportation system. She was linked with a primary care physician and began working towards improving her chronic health conditions, including working to improve chronic pain associated with her hip injury through consistent attendance at physical therapy. Lovie’s case manager linked her with an art community in Grand Rapids and she is now active in making art and engaged in a strong community and natural support system.
Lovie has not needed to access inpatient or any other intensive service for behavioral health or medical needs since her admission to Hope Network’s program. She can now imagine her ability to achieve her goals of returning to her work as a CNA and reconnecting with family members she had previously lost touch with.
Lovie is a vivacious, loving woman full of charm and compassion and now, with the support of Hope Network’s Case Management team, hope. She is able to continue on her journey as she strives to leave a meaningful imprint in the lives of those she touches. She feels services through Hope Network have allowed her to feel she can recover and that she has worth as a person regardless of her mental illness.
Lovie sent a card to Hope Network expressing her gratitude for her case manager. We are still deeply moved by her concluding words: “I’m homeless, living everywhere I can stay, but Christopher never let me feel like I am. Dream big, don’t settle for less. He brings me joy, peace and hope for tomorrow. He gives me strength when I don’t have it.”
Lovie is more than her name. It’s who she is and who she sets out to be.