This has been a packed month. I can’t believe it is the middle of September and I am just now writing a blog post! Many, many good things have come from September. We still have a few hurdles to jump, including getting Megan back on track health wise (but she is managing this rough patch of non functioning meds and high anxiety with grace and strength…as usual).
The best change has been my move to Charlotte, NC. I’ve taken to the city of Charlotte like a duck to water. So far I love everything about it – from living in the city, walking to work, the gorgeous mountains a short drive away to my new job and co-workers who have been incredibly warm and welcoming. So imagine my pure joy to hear about a new mental health facility that opened today in Charlotte. Hope Way is a residential and outpatient treatment center for those struggling with mental illness. The facility type isn’t unique obviously; but the way they approaching recovery is very unique. The facility was designed so that patients feel valued and loved. No grey walls with metal beds – this facility has been decorated in blues and greens (soothing colors for your brain). The center is among wooded area so most of the bedrooms have windows and face the woods. Windows!! In a mental health facility!! Revolutionary.
Listen to this everyone:
One side of the building is dedicated to therapy, including an art studio, complete with a kiln, where residents can make pottery or design jewelry. All therapy rooms have huge windows with views of trees that shade the property. That section also includes a “Learning Kitchen,” where a nutritionist will teach patients to prepare healthy foods.
HopeWay’s residential section includes reading nooks and a lounge with a pool table and television, where friends and family can visit.
And then the shoe drops, and there is this:
HopeWay will accept private insurance and has created a $5 million endowment to provide scholarships to help pay for treatment. Officials acknowledge that patients without insurance or who can’t pay out-of-pocket may not be able to afford treatment there.
I’ve been in a few mental health facilities – and the majority look like prisons. Wish I was over-exaggerating that, but I am not. They look like prison wards with metal beds, mattresses covered in plastic and grey walls. The food is usually very unhealthy – think fast food that has gone lukewarm. Sounds like a place you want to find hope and a will to live right?
Doesn’t it seem reasonable that someone who is struggling to see the light, struggling to find hope in this world, would get much better, much quicker with a facility like Hope Way? I think the answer is a resounding yes.
I don’t know what would need to change in this country for us to accept that it is going to cost more to care for our mental challenged family – I do know we are in an election year where health care could go either way. Can I ask you to consider how those people without a Mamma Bear by their side may be affected by your vote?
I feel like we can do a better job taking care of our own if we just put some muscle to it.