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NYSID News Blog

May 4, 2015

Support #B4Stage4 During Mental Health Awareness Month in May

Category: General — NYSID @ 2:49 pm

Did you know that it typically takes 10 years from the first time someone has mental health concerns until they get a correct diagnosis and proper treatment?

In May, we celebrate National Mental Health Awareness Month, which raises awareness about mental health issues and related issues in the United States.

The theme for 2015 is “B4Stage4,” which focuses on how people can address their mental health early, rather than at “Stage 4,” when symptoms are more severe, and recovery a longer process.

In recent years, attitudes toward mental health issues have evolved; negative attitudes and stigmas associated with mental health have changed; and there has been growing acceptance toward individuals with mental health issues.

NYSID celebrates the efforts of Mental Health America (MHA) and our member agencies and corporate partners to help create more inclusive communities for individuals with mental health issues.

Several of our 2014 William B. Joslin Award recipients have overcome mental health issues to become successful, satisfied workers on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.

Randy Peterson, 2014 Joslin Outstanding Performer from Cattaraugus County Chapter NYSARC, Inc./The ReHabilitation Center/SubCon Industries

One of these individuals is Randy Peterson, who was driving a cab in Buffalo in 2002 when he was confronted with a life-changing experience. A man pulled a gun on him and, without a second thought, Randy grabbed the man’s arm, knocked the gun aside and managed to escape unharmed. This event affected him deeply, and he sought emotional support at the local counseling center. His therapist assisted him to deal with the anxiety and encouraged him to obtain clinical supports through the mental health day treatment program and to seek financial support through social security.

For the next eight years, while participating in the Guidepost program for treatment of schizophrenia, Randy was a loving caregiver for his mother, a paraplegic who needed significant help with meal preparation, laundry and personal care. Randy’s mother passed away in April 2010, and he eventually started to think about a return to the workforce. He recognized that productive work would be important to his mental health, and had a goal of becoming self-sufficient.

Randy applied for services through ACCES-VR, began a job search and was hired as a cleaner for SCS in September 2011. He has worked for the NYSID contract at the Cattaraugus County Office Building since April 2012. The two-story building has multiple service departments and 90,000 square feet to be cleaned five days per week. Randy demonstrates excellent attendance and productivity, and is flexible with scheduling, as he is willing to take on extra projects. In fact, he was the 2014 Joslin Outstanding Performer for Cattaraugus County Chapter NYSARC, Inc./The ReHabilitation Center/SubCon Industries in Olean.

Read Randy’s story and other success stories at http://www.nysid.org/documents/joslin/2014_joslin_performers_book.pdf.

Prevention, early identification, and intervention, and integrated services work #B4Stage4. Help support MHA’s #B4Stage4 Campaign.

Thanks so much for your assistance and your continued support during National Mental Health Awareness Month and throughout the year. For more information on mental health and how to raise awareness, visit http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net.


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