Valerie’s Story

Valerie spent much of her life avoiding her mental health concerns. Her mom has a mental illness, and Valerie didn’t want to admit that she has one too. She avoided confronting her own mental illness until it was nearly too late.

“I thought if I worked all the time I could avoid becoming my mom,” she says. “Then, at 29, I started self-medicating.”

After 15 years of gradual decline, Valerie hit rock-bottom. She decided it was time to change. Valerie felt that to move forward in life, she’d need to start fresh. That’s when she entered treatment and gave herself a second chance.

“I don’t have chaos in my life anymore. I feel like I have support.”

After treatment Valerie was connected to mental health services at Avivo. “Valerie is very goal-oriented,” says Amy Mullenmeister, Avivo mental health case manager. “She’s been working hard for the past two years to move her life in a positive direction.”

Amy worked with Avivo’s housing team to connect Valerie with stable housing and furniture. She also connected her to other resources she’d need, including career education at Avivo Institute of Career & Technical Education.

Valerie entered Medical Office Support training, and graduated from the program with perfect attendance. With a certificate of completion in hand, she has the confidence to look for a job; her first job since entering treatment. She’s ready to move forward in life.

“I wouldn’t be where I’m at… I wouldn’t have recovered as fast. I’m thankful for Avivo.”

“I don’t have chaos in my life anymore,” Valerie says. “I feel like I have support. I feel like I have the education to go out and get a decent job.”

She still meets with her case manager monthly to make sure she’s staying on track. Valerie also attends Avivo’s Community Support Program in Bloomington, where program members connect with staff and peers for support.

“I really feel like Avivo held my hand through everything. I wouldn’t be where I’m at… I wouldn’t have recovered as fast. I’m thankful for Avivo.”