When David first came to live in an Easter Seals NJ group home for people facing the challenges of mental illness in 1996, he struggled to adjust to the program. He struggled with hygiene, managing his aggression, and suicidal tendencies if he failed to properly manage his medications.
Since his arrival at Easter Seals, David has demonstrated tremendous improvement. He has gained confidence over time, has taken ownership of his stay at the program, and has learned to use coping skills and tools to combat his mental health symptoms.
David learned how to pay his rent on time and the Easter Seals staff helped him learn to use budgeting skills, write his own checks . With the staff’s help, he writes his own checks, and balance his check book.
David also embraced the implementation of Easter Seals NJ's Be Well & Thrive! Health and Wellness Program and lost 30 pounds while continuously challenging his peers in a weekly weight loss contest. He learned to excel at daily household maintenance and grocery shopping and would even take on a leadership role by providing assistance to his fellow peers in dinner preparations whenever needed.
Finally, this past November, David graduated from Easter Seals and moved to his new life of independent living at an affordable housing complex. His future goals include independent medication management, self-management of mental health symptoms, and finding a job.
“Easter Seals changed my life, my health and my self-esteem," says David. "I’m a man of value again."
We're very proud of David's achievement and wish him continued success along his journey!