“Meridian’s a great place, they let us know that hope is alive and that hope’s within each and everyone of us.” – REC Student
“My life before I came to Meridian was lost, empty, and had no meaning. I would not see myself as a worthy person. Now my life is full of activity and I feel that I now have a purpose to live for myself and choose a healthier life.” – REC Student
“I’ve been coming to Meridian for three years now. Without this place I would be a lost 24 year old. This place has given me tools to succeed and have a fulfilled life. Taking classes and being able to talk with someone has made living life with bipolar, PTSD, psychosis, and anxiety easier. If this place was not here I would probably be in a hospital for many months, using drugs or alcohol or end up dead. This place has given me and other people a place to have hope that life can be successful.” – REC Student
“When I walked through their doors I was still actively drinking, incredibly angry and had no hope they could help me. I was welcomed by a whole team of very caring, skilled and multidimensional professionals. Meridian’s very unique model of treatment allowed me to deal with my trauma and mental illness first, then my substance abuse issues in a very safe, supportive and confidential environment. IN essence they helped me untwist my brain enough to start to change the way I think. They have helped me learn coping skills I never learned and never thought I could learn. I got a prescription for a mediation I never heard of and because of all of these things I have been able to change my behavior. I am clean and sober and for the first time in my life I have a fighting chance of staying that way. Perhaps most importantly I have a realistic chance to keep my symptoms under control and rejoining society as a productive, healthier, contributing citizen of our great nation. Nothing would make me happier and there could be no better outcome.” – REC Student
“Prior to my involvement with Meridian REC my life was plagued with negativity, pessimism, and anxiety. I was unfamiliar with the ability to control my feelings. This often resulted in making poor decision and exhibiting poor behavior.
Changes that have occurred in my life are a result of the skills that have been shown to me via facilitators, classmates, and materials. Skills I have learned and utilized over the past several weeks have given me more opportunity to make better decisions and behave in positive, as well as, substantially effective ways.
My life now is much more productive in not only my own life but also in the lives of my spouse, children, friends, and whoever else I con in contact with on a daily basis. I am internally at peace and experience hope, joy, and contentment now on a regular basis.” – REC Student
“Thanks for helping me through a very difficult time in ’07 and ’08. What you do money can’t buy and I hope someday to do some of the great things you do every day. You are all very sincere, caring people and I am fortunate to have known you. I have achieved the goal of restoring my license and have more self-esteem.” – REC Student
“I am a fairly new widow who struggles with panic attacks, bipolar and depression. I started with the REC about a year ago and I have participated in the Wise Mind, WRAP and the Art of Emotions classes.
I have learned how to decrease my anxiety and depression. I use grounding techniques such as breathing and counting, I read the handouts over at loud at home, use pacing and changing a thought. These techniques along with other tool I have been taught have helped me get a better grip on my emotional problems.
I look forward to coming to 2 or 3 classes a week to keep grounded and help with my emotions. I’m not sure what I’d do if I didn’t have this opportunity to get better. Thank you.” – REC Student
“Well before coming to Meridian I had life experiences dealing with verbal abuse, physical abuse and also experience sexual abuse. It has caused me to have PTSD and depression due to these life events. Also, I have dependent personality disorder which causes me to believe that I cannot provide for myself and having to depend on others as well as do thing for other to make sure I satisfy them to have my needs met. What I have gained from attending classes in the REC was ways to help with my depression, PTSD, and codependency. How to set boundaries and believe in myself and to believe there is hope and that I will learn daily how to use my coping skills. Without the REC , staff support and classes I attend at the REC I would not have got this far throughout my recovery. I am very grateful for all their support and faith that they have in me. They are the people who show me that there is hope throughout recovery. They are a lot like family to because they care about me and never judge or criticize me and guide me to make the right choices for my life.” – REC Student
“I have only been going to Meridian for a few months and I have to tell you that the place I tried to get help before did nothing. They would just sit and say nothing and I did not know what to say because I had never been in the situation where I needed mental and emotional help before. I was referred to Meridian, and found the place that I will go to as long as I need to. The people who work at this facility are the best I know of. They are so caring and down to earth and just real people. The most important thing to me is that they don’t just sit and do nothing, they give you tools to help yourself and make you think about what is in your head and heart. The tools and classes teach you how to cope with life which is the key to a healthy life not a drug to pop (unless you have a chemical imbalance that is different). But to pop a drug to make you feel better and forget is not the answer. The answer is to learn to deal with you problems and learn to cope and work thru them. I don’t have to tell you that but that is what Meridian is doing for me. Making me a stronger more competent individual that can go back the life that I choose to live and become a productive stable part of my family and community. I never thought that I would find the right fit for me, but I have. It seems that the majority of the other students there are making great progress or at least on the road in the correct path.” – REC Student
“I was a professional in the financial field working for major corporations such as GE and Wells Fargo for several years. During those years I had great insurance and was lucky to have, not just a psychiatrist, but also a therapist. I have been treated for manic depression, anxiety and ADD. I now realize what a luxury it was to have insurance and discounted medication. One year ago I lost my job, my house and of course my insurance. I could not only afford psychiatric visits, but my medications totaled over $600 a month. Naturally I decided I didn’t need the medication. Three months later I found myself paralyzed and falling into a deep depression. I had lost all hope and motivation. I was so broken I could not do anything. I was in poverty and on the verge of being homeless, but honestly I didn’t care.
I heard about Meridian offering psychiatric help in the area. I called and they told me to come in right away. From the first day I walked into the clinic- to the present; I can tell you I am a completely different person. I was taken in with urgency, compassion and understanding. In the past 15 years I have had several psychiatrists and therapists and in all that time I was just another patient in a 20 minute session. At Meridian the staff takes the time to listen and actually finds solutions that help. Not because they want you to come back with your insurance card but because they actually care.
Thanks to the CRNP I am back on medication and I receive medication assistance so I can afford it. I take the counseling classes at Meridian three times a week. I now understand my mental health and this time I’m actually learning to live with it. I am learning to change my behavior and my thought patterns. Something I never thought I had control over. I am happy to say now I have a safe place to live, I am back in school learning new skills. And most importantly I am looking forward to being employed again. I have a few possible leads for employment and I am on my way to a manageable life. None of this could have happened without the Meridian program. I only wish there were programs like this offered in other states, because there are thousand like me that have fallen and have no hope of getting up and facing life again. I have tremendous gratitude for the staff at Meridian and the program.” – REC Student
“For about seven years beginning in 1996 I lived with sever panic and anxiety. I went to the Smoky Mountain Counseling Center in Sylva, NC and received medication and one on one counseling with an excellent counselor. The counseling was helpful and the medication numbed the panic.
But the root of my suffering was that I felt so terribly lonely and isolated. I could not relate to anyone who had experience and therefore could understand what I was feeling.
When I discovered Meridian Behavioral Health Services and the Recovery Education Center, my first thoughts were that, if I have had access to this kind of peer support back then, I could have greatly lessened my pain and cut out years of suffering.
Having attended WMR and WRAP the past several weeks, I feel a growing connection with both students and facilitators, and a growing support system. The evening socials in addition to the “classes” provide an additional comfortable atmosphere for connecting with people. I feel the others need this connection just as much as I do. For those who live alone, it provides something to look forward to as an alternative to going home to an empty house.
I have watched a friend of mine transforming his life this past month since coming to the Recovery Education Center – from being a loner the many years I have been acquainted with him – to a divorce and sever panic and anxiety – to reaching out and connecting with people, being a support buddy with me and seeing new opportunities and positive possibilities.
Having experience the Recovery Education Center this past month, I know I would feel a huge void and loss in my life if the REC was not there.
What a wonderful alternative to traditional mental health services! People helping people. Healing through peer support. Our fast paced society today promotes isolation. REC promotes connection. It is helping me develop my own inner strength as well as to be there for others.” – REC Student
“Through JJTC, I am able offer each family a clear direction and a specific plan for services. When everything else in their world seems crazy to them, they appreciate our confidence in what we are offering in the way of help”. -Intake Counselor.
“I've had a mom tell the therapists that they were responsible for the parent keeping their sanity during tough times. There have been parents repeating classes and continuing to receive services on a voluntary basis after their child was released from probation, as well as many parents seeking mental health services for themselves as a result of the trust that was built through work with their child. As a court counselor, I make referrals knowing that my therapists have compassion for the whole family. Courses of treatment are tailored to the needs of the family. JJTC has led to consistent goals of reducing the need for detention, reducing out of home placements, and increasing successful discharges”. -Court Counselor
“JJTC has had an impact in our district by:
1) Providing Youth and their Families with a Team Approach to juvenile’s and family’s needs.
2) Weekly JJTC staffings allows team to review progress, issues, needs, interventions, and devise a solution/plan.
3) Juveniles and Families feel supported and rely on team when a crisis occurs in which JJTC team responds and it is always a joint effort, working together to help the juvenile and family.
4) Excellent collaboration with agencies involved in JJTC and with outside agencies including with schools, DSS, and other agencies.
5) Attempts to Link juveniles and families with informal supports so that any progress and/or success is more sustainable.
6) Teams work to help juvenile and families outside their professional “duties” including helping find resources for housing, clothes, food, supportive community resources, transportation, job opportunities, etc. always depending on the juvenile’s and family’s needs.
7) Due to team’s involvement and numerous contacts with juveniles and families, team is made more aware of juvenile and family’s needs; therefore, interventions and conflict resolution are dealt with sooner”.
- Court Counselor
“Over the past 5 years, JJTC has been an important and helpful aspect of my job. With JJTC,, the juveniles on my caseload have had wrap-around services. If a juvenile or their family is in need, there is always support from me, Meridian staff or Project Challenge staff. I have had several success cases over these years, and just recently I had a family have a successful discharge from JJTC in which the juvenile’s mother stated that she and her son had been in counseling for two years and no progress had been made in their family. Since starting with JJTC, however, she and her son as well as other siblings in the home can communicate and now she feels that the family is a complete, healthy family. As for my job, the JJTC program makes it a lot easier and more productive. I have a team of people working with families and making sure they are getting what they need and also what was court ordered. I always have team members in support of me when there is a crisis that comes up with one of my juveniles on my caseload. Overall, JJTC has improved the lives of juveniles on my caseload and improved the quality of care needed by families”. -Court Counselor
“The Haywood County JJTC team works very closely together to ensure the safety and well-being of at-risk youth and their families here in Haywood County. Through the use of regular weekly staffings, Meridian staff and court counselors share information, update progress of youth and develop together plans on an ongoing basis to better assist the youth and families. There are various levels of services that the JJTC uses based on a youth’s and families needs and risks. These services are used and adapted to youth and family on an as-needed basis and include some services such as individual counseling, intensive in-home services, SAIP, multi-family and substance use groups. The members of Meridian JJTC staff have been successful as reported by some of the juveniles and families with whom I work. It just shows the everyday impact our Haywood Meridian staff and JJTC are having with the at-risk youth and their families here in Haywood Co. We are very grateful to have such dedicated and caring Meridian staff who work so well in partnership with court counselors here in Haywood County”. - Court Counselor