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Jonathan

Jonathan

After experiencing an episode of psychosis, Jonathan arrived at Hopewell in 2017. For many of his previous treatments, he struggled to find the right psychiatric medication. During his ten-month stay at Hopewell, he found solace in the community and being able to “get better with his peers.” Thankfully, Dr. Martha Schinagle, a Hopewell psychiatrist, was also able to help him find a medication regimen that was low on side effects and high on symptom reduction.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Jonathan immersed himself in art therapy, experimenting with painting and working in the woodshop. He also participated in eco-therapy with clinician Cecelia Futch, LPCC-S. She said, “Research shows that time spent in natural settings has health benefits that go a long way toward ameliorating symptoms of physical and mental illness. Jonathan participated in equine therapy as well as nature walks and gardening. He gained life skills that continue to inform his behavior and life choices.”

Jonathan is grateful to Hopewell for giving him tools to deal with his mental health and the ability to share his lived experience. He is now a Peer Support Specialist for the FIRST program, which is a partnership in Cuyahoga County between Catholic Charities and Northeast Ohio Medical University’s BeST Center. FIRST programs provide comprehensive, team-based treatment aimed at improving the mental health and quality of life for individuals who have experienced a first episode of psychosis, as well as ongoing treatment particularly for individuals with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder.

As a Peer Support Specialist, Jonathan meets with individuals and shares elements of his recovery from psychosis to promote mental health. They may attend NAMI meetings together, go on hikes, engage in community talks, and he serves as a mentor as they journey through their diagnosis. He recently appeared in a video designed to address the challenges involved with disclosing a mental health condition to the public. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mbv8ZX_pJc)

Looking back to his days on the farm, he said, “I am grateful to have had the chance to be at Hopewell. It was such a blessing for me, and I hope everyone with a serious mental health challenge may have an opportunity to go there.”

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