Program Helps Fight Mental Illness In Charlotte - myfoxcarolinas.com

Program Helps Fight Mental Illness In Charlotte

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It's an illness you can't see on the outside, but many feel on the inside. 

Chris Parker knows that feeling all too well. "I was extremely psychotic.  Imagining people were there. All kinds of things," he said.

Since his early twenties, Chris had delusions and paranoia, causing him to feel anxiety in public.

"I would be somewhere and be so frozen in fear that people were trying to hurt me that I couldn't walk. I would sit on the ground and not move, and people would circle around me."

Chris knew he needed help.  He was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

"Similar to schizoeffective but with a mood disorder component.  In my case, the mood disorder component would be depression," said Parker.

He found assistance in his battle with the ACT program.  ACT stands for Assertive Community Treatment. Group sessions help members with anxiety through exercises and therapy.

"Therapy is a big plus. You know…the medicine I have to have.  The therapy takes me to a whole other level,” Parker mentioned.

Tchavervia Montgomery runs the ACT group sessions. "We meet every morning and staff each case, and with that staffing, we determine what needs the consumer or patient needs that day and then we provide those services," said Montgomery.

Services that Chris says have drastically improved his life.

"Now, I'm working, thinking about maybe going to school, I've got friends. No one seems to know or ask questions, unless I want them to know," said Parker.

His goal is to help others, just like the ACT program has helped him.

"It's not that rare, you know. I've met a lot of people through being here and other mental health agencies that have the same problem so I'd like to help them if I could."


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