“Just the fact that I was able to ride a bicycle makes me feel whole again,” says Sharon regarding the positive impact Easter Seals has had on her physical and mental wellbeing.
After years of battling mental illness resulting in multiple hospital stays, Sharon was referred to an Easter Seals NJ Behavioral Health Services group home in Warren County in 2011.
Upon her arrival, Sharon was struggling to cope with her mental health symptoms, medication compliance, financial management, and social interactions. In addition, she also faced a multitude of physical health complications.
The Easter Seals staff helped Sharon obtain financial assistance and health coverage and worked with her to learn to budget and balance a checkbook. As a result, she is now able to pay her rent and bills on time. She is receiving psychiatric counseling, is learning to manage her own medications, and has become a strong participant in Easter Seals NJ’s Health and Wellness program. She has lost 30 pounds, attends the gym regularly, and even challenges her peers in a weekly weight loss contest.
Sharon has evolved to into someone who represents the face of our community outings. Where she once preferred isolation, now she is very outgoing; she plays the flute, sings in her local church, volunteers at the local library, and prepares meals for her fellow residents without assistance.
Her future goals include independent management of her own mental health and medications, obtaining employment (for which she is currently interviewing), and securing supportive housing. Easter Seals NJ is proud of Sharon’s amazing accomplishments and looks forward to helping her continue to achieve success!