Whether you are experiencing it yourself or have a loved one with serious mental illness, you know it can often feel like an uphill battle. As the world keeps turning and life goes on, sometimes we can find ourselves getting stuck in place. For anyone struggling with mental illness or addiction, The Phil has compiled a list of resources to help you on your path to recovery.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness and their respective state offices are a wealth of knowledge and resources for you or a loved one struggling with mental illness. NAMI Virginia offers educational programs and support groups for Virginians impacted by mental illness. These programs offer support and education and are free of cost to individuals and their families. Additionally, NAMI Virginia provides a non-emergency helpline that will connect you with specific resources for your needs in your area. Their website is easy to use and all of the information is readily available.
If you know someone that is in a mental health crisis, but resisting care, Treatment Advocacy Center is worth looking into. The Treatment Advocacy Center advocates for better treatment and more laws supporting people who are experiencing mental illness, while working to help people get safe and effective treatment. In the 22 years since its founding, the Treatment Advocacy Center has participated in the improvement of treatment laws in nearly half of U.S. states and promoted the implementation of those laws. The mission of the organization is to educate and assist in the practice of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) for individuals in crisis but resisting treatment.
According to their website, “Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is the practice of providing community-based mental health treatment under civil court commitment, as a means of: (1) motivating an adult with mental illness who struggles with voluntary treatment adherence to engage fully with their treatment plan; and (2) focusing the attention of treatment providers on the need to work diligently to keep the person engaged in effective treatment.”
Similar to NAMI Virginia, Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) is another useful tool when beginning your mental health education journey. MHAV works to increase public awareness, decrease stigma and keep mental health issues on the forefront of policy and legislative agendas, while also providing support for those in recovery. They offer recovery education classes that help individuals who have struggled with trauma, mental health or addiction, incorporate recovery principles into their daily lives and encourage self-empowerment and models peer support practices.
Oxford House is an alternative concept in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. It is a democratically run, self-supporting and drug free home. The number of residents in an Oxford House may range from six to fifteen and there are houses for men, women, and locations which accept women with children. Residents of an Oxford House work together to hold each other accountable in recovery and provide for each other. Residents are not required to pay rent, they are only required to contribute to the household while they continue in their recovery, giving them a safe place to live and the resources they need to support their sobriety. There are Oxford Houses all over the country, with 77 locations in Virginia.
According to their website, the mission of The Brain Foundation is to provide affordable housing for those suffering from serious brain diseases, such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders, who are homeless or vulnerable to becoming homeless. With nine houses located throughout Northern Virginia the 36 residents, who may not otherwise have an opportunity for independent living, pay minimal rent for a room to call their own. The houses are located within walking distance of public transportation as well as everyday necessities such as grocery stores.
If you or someone you know is a danger to themselves or others, please call 9-8-8 or 911.