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Jeff Finds Happiness with Accra’s Mental Health Program

ARMHS and counseling have helped Jeff develop new independent living skills and keep anxiety at bay.

Now 42 years old, Jeff has received various mental health services for almost his entire life. But throughout adulthood, it’s been difficult for him to find services that make a real impact. Jeff’s sister and legal guardian, Amber, recently learned about Accra, and they started working with Accra’s Mental Health Services program.

Through Accra, Jeff receives counseling and adult rehabilitative mental health services (ARMHS). ARMHS help clients manage the symptoms of mental illness, develop independent living skills and lead more fulfilling lives at home. Supervised by mental health professionals, ARMHS practitioners teach clients how to connect with and leverage community resources and mental health services.

We recently talked with Jeff and Amber about their experience with Accra Mental Health Services.

Accra client Jeff and his sister Amber

How did you find Accra?

Amber: I have been Jeff’s legal guardian since I was 18, so almost 18 years now. Jeff has had services his whole life. We’ve gone through a few companies, and his social worker recommended Accra. We started with ARMHS about six months ago and recently added mental health therapy, and it’s been perfect.

Why did you choose to work with Accra?

Amber: Jeff needed that one-on-one time to work on some skills, the stuff that he struggles with, like anxiety and how to deal with certain situations. We’ve tried things within his group home, and we’ve tried things within the day program, but nothing really ever stuck. So, we thought we’d give this ARMHS program a whirl. His caregivers and a lot of other people have noticed a huge difference in Jeff in the last six months. As a guardian, I’ve noticed way less anxiety too. Just happy Jeff!

What does your typical week look like?

Jeff: Three days a week, I’m at my day program, and my favorite activity is music class. A music therapist comes, and he plays music for us. We join in and play musical instruments too.

I also like to watch TV, spend time with my family and nieces, and play guitar. My favorite type of music is country like Johnny Cash, but I like gospel music too.

I work two days a week for Pet Crossing. It’s an animal hospital and dental clinic. Sometimes we go to the Humane Society and look at animals. I really like looking at the dogs because I’m an animal person. I really love animals. I like dogs and cats, and there’s a cute little chihuahua at work. Her name is Penny, and we have a special bond.

How are things going with your ARMHS practitioner?

Jeff: I really like my provider. She’s wonderful. We go work out sometimes or go for walks. Sometimes we eat an early dinner. Other times, we go to the candy store, like one time we went to the Droolin’ Moose. We sampled a whole bunch of chocolate. That was really good.

Amber: Jeff is probably the most easygoing person ever. He loves to try anything. The biggest thing is that his ARMHS worker has really listened. Jeff’s up for anything, and she’s up for anything, so when they’re together, I feel like Jeff can relax, and anxiety goes down. As a caregiver, I see that through the week, the anxiety stays down.

How have Accra’s services been different from your previous experiences?

Amber: Jeff has been doing therapy for years and years. But with Accra, I can already tell the difference. They want to give him tools to help him get through his anxieties and struggles. He’s been doing therapy for 20 years or so, and I feel like I didn’t see a difference ever.

The difference I noticed is that his ARMHS worker has really gotten to know Jeff and actually listened to his interests and then incorporates them. I feel like lots of people in the past asked him about his interests, but then they’re still going to do what they’re going to do.

I have seen an increase in self-pride, confidence and overall happiness. His ARMHS worker is great at allowing Jeff to be included in things and allowing him to make choices, whereas most things people always decide for him. He loves being able to be active in those choices.

What else has stood out during your time with Accra?

Amber: From the very beginning, everything has just been smooth. I’ve seen it all being his advocate, and I truly have been so impressed with every person we have encountered thus far at Accra. Everyone has been so kind, and I can tell their intentions are always truly in the best interest of the client. They respect and understand Jeff as a whole person.

If you are interested in learning more about Accra’s mental health program, click here.

Click here if you’d like to refer someone to the program.