Mental Health Month – David’s Story
As I prepare to leave Thresholds after 24 years, I feel a great sense of gratitude for the Thresholds community. Through our work, we have built something amazing that benefits not only the Thresholds clients who use our services, but the community as a whole.
I have been supported, challenged, pressed to the limit and now launched into a new stage of life by my time at Thresholds. I am deeply appreciative of each client, colleague, leader, donor, and advocate that made these opportunities possible for me.
A few memories of my work here:
I recall Danny having the time of his life on his first camping trip with Thresholds. Danny was a blind man with a mental health challenge who was not just going camping for the first time, but even going horseback riding!
Larry, upon learning that I was leaving Thresholds, said, “You came all this way to see me! Ah, give me a hug!” This outburst of emotion came from a military veteran, who had spent time in the justice system, and had been frequently homeless. It was a pleasant, unexpected moment that I won’t soon forget.
Terri challenged my perceptions and beliefs as a trained professional. I served as his staff mentor and coach, but he taught me as much or more about being authentic and truly helpful.
Joy met me for the first time in an unfurnished, frigidly cold basement in Englewood. Her home had few possessions, but an abundance of hope. Joy showed me how a person can rise from the depths of depression and substance use disorder, and that nobody is truly “lost”.
Barry would frequently reminisce about the time the two of us had struggled to bring his refrigerator upstairs and how deeply grateful he was for this help. For Barry, who grappled intensely with loss and extreme mood fluctuations, the ability to build trust and bond with another person was a miracle.
As we completed our last session, Alice said to me, “Thank you. You saw me and had hope for me when I did not.” She spent the remainder of the session telling me about her current learnings of mindfulness, awareness, and how to manage symptoms of her mental illness.
These are just a few of the countless times that I have been deeply touched by the community that is Thresholds. I express immense appreciation for all the people who have and will continue to support us in these efforts of mutual growth and healing.
Note: All names besides David’s have been changed.
David Pock is a former Thresholds Managed Care Coordinator with over a quarter of a century’s experience working with people living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.