restoring our obligation
Before our son became sick, we had preconceived notions about people with serious mental illness.
Boy, we could not have been more wrong.
Mental illness is not what you think.
Approximately 4% of the population has a serious mental illness. This includes schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and bipolar disorder with psychotic features. Serious mental illness is an equal opportunity disability. It doesn't care what you look like, how old you are, where you go to school or work, what race or gender you are, or even what kind of car you drive. It unabashedly afflicts 4% of the population without bias or seeming end in sight.
Nothing in this world can prepare you for watching your adult child succumb to a devastating brain illness. Nothing rivals it. Well, except America's broken treatment system that includes: antiquated laws, HIPAA constraints, insufficient use of Assisted Outpatient Treatment, revolving door hospital stays, scarcity of psychiatric beds, services, and skilled professionals, limited long term housing, and an unrealizing public.
It is through our journey of advocating for our own son, and navigating the chaotic patchwork of sparse resources, that we developed a passion for caring for some of our most vulnerable citizens.
In the beginning of our advocacy days, we readily identified housing as being one of the top barriers to obtaining a life with dignity. This became our dream to one day open a Christ centered home for people who suffer with chronic mental illness:
A home where someone can stay as long as they want to.
A home where an individual can receive loving support.
A home that feels like family.
A home that fosters a sense of purpose.
Until our dream becomes reality, we will continue to advocate with others in our community for innovative housing solutions and better accountability.
We will continue to develop resources for the Christian community to offer hope and gracious support to individuals and families who are living behind a hidden wall of suffering in every community.
Our hearts are ruined for this cause and we hope yours will be too as you learn more and consider joining us on this journey toward a better migration of care. Won't you join us in restoring our obligation to help the ones who cannot help themselves?
Matthew & Deborah Geesling
Founders of P82 Project Restoration, Inc.