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Michael’s Story

Michael is an artist, a survivor and has an amazing recovery story that he graciously shares with others looking for hope.

Prior to coming to Hope Network for behavioral health services, Michael had been in and out of the psychiatric hospital for a large portion of his adult life. At the point when things were the worst for him, he had 12 inpatient admissions in one year.

Michael was admitted to case management services with diagnoses of bipolar disorder, alcohol dependence, cocaine dependence, borderline personality disorder, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hepatitis C, and cirrhosis. He had accessed inpatient psychiatric services four times in the previous year, had been struggling with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, heavy use of alcohol and had not seen a doctor to address his multiple chronic health conditions in several years. At that time his diabetes was unmanaged, resulting in regular significant spikes in blood sugar levels.

Michael was immediately linked with psychiatry, case management, peer support, and nursing services with Hope Network Behavioral Health Services. He received assistance with getting covered with Medicaid secondary to his Medicare HMO plan and was able to access preventative healthcare again.

It took over a year due to his hesitation to address his various physical health concerns, but his case manager was able to engage him in the process of selecting a primary care physician and begin working toward management of his chronic health conditions. He received education from the Hope Network nurse and dietician on how to manage his diabetes, through regular blood sugar checks and balancing his diet.

With these supports, his daily thoughts about suicide began to subside and he was able to work toward goals he had not dreamed were possible, such as adopting a dog and building relationships with other community members. His use of alcohol reduced and he is now sober from both alcohol and cocaine.

Now, Michael is living in his own home with his beloved dog “Betty Boop,” volunteering daily at a community wellness center, and has not accessed psychiatric or medical inpatient care in two years. Michael is an inspiration for other people and actively engages in inspiring others with similar challenges with hope and motivation to seek recovery.

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