A Story of Hope: Meet Nicole
December 20, 2021
Journey to HopeWay
Hi, my name is Nicole and I'm one of the millions of people who suffer from mental illness. My journey with severe depression began with the birth of my first child. Pregnancy radically and permanently changed the chemicals in my body. The majority of my depressive episodes have been triggered by a change in my body chemistry, like hormonal changes, medication changes, or when medications stop working. Over my 12-year journey, I have been hospitalized in several acute care facilities to which I've been transferred by hospitals that don’t have psychiatric units. While I understand, and even at times appreciate the need for this type of acute care, these types of mental health facilities are not places people go for long term treatment and sustained recovery. These facilities are there to keep people from hurting themselves or others.
The Perfect Fit
When I spiraled into my latest episode, I knew I needed help but was adamant that I didn't want to go to another acute care facility. I wanted to go to a place where I felt safe and cared for. I wanted a place that would incorporate all aspects of healing in a warm and comfortable setting. I wanted to find a psychiatrist and therapists who would work with my established mental health care team to provide a comprehensive approach to my treatment. But mostly, I wanted to go to a place that would treat me with respect and dignity. HopeWay was that place.
My experience at HopeWay was simply amazing. From the admissions process through my entire course of treatment, I was able to really focus on myself and my recovery in an environment that made me feel safe to be my most vulnerable. My team at HopeWay made sure I was an active part of my treatment plan and never did anything I wasn't comfortable with. It might seem trivial, but having a clean and beautiful space where you feel accepted and safe is such a huge part of the healing process. Most of the therapy you do at HopeWay is intense and really, really hard. But it's not all emotional breakdowns and panic attacks. In fact, a lot of the breakthroughs I had at HopeWay I discovered through the integrative therapies like music, horticulture and especially art therapy. I never knew I could gain so much insight into myself by singing songs and drawing pictures. I think the integrative therapies HopeWay offers is what truly sets it apart from other mental health care programs.
HopeWay's Positive Impact
I am so grateful to everyone at HopeWay for providing a really incredible place for people like me to get the help we need. HopeWay is helping to change the landscape of mental health care and is setting a positive example that people suffering from mental illness deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion.