Client Satisfaction & Testimonials
2013 Client Satisfaction Comments
Doing a great job
Office staff is awesome!
Cara does a great job and Stacy is very helpful
Good place, mostly great people
Very Grateful for North Central, your organization has helped me live in the situations of life not the problems.
Overall, great job of establishing trust and demonstrating real caring.
I love Cyndi Sweetland, Angie the nurse, Karen S my therapist, Dale Katcher group leader, Jackie front office and Eileen Williams, all awesome.
Counseling and Group sessions were very helpful, thank you.
I am happy with my group sessions.
My therapist Andy is very understanding, I would recommend him to several people
Andy, Tammy and Suzanne are wonderful people they are willing to help out as much as possible
Someone to vent to is what I get here
I love North Central, their staff is the best that includes everyone
The services I get here are awesome and my therapist is great
Everyone is genuine
Our counselor is very considerate and supportive. He has a very kind manner
Everything has been good
When we were unsatisfied with doc tor NCBHS listed and we have been satisfied with the current
Keep up the good work
The staff are willing to work with my schedule for sc hool and work so I can get in my appts.
My name is John. When I was about 26 years old, I began to have problems and my family became alarmed with my inappropriate behavior in public. I walked the streets, did not eat, smoked a lot, left home, and spent the majority of my time alone. I could not put my finger on it, but it felt like things were out of control and I felt like I was not worth anything.
After destroying a house, due to an anger outburst, I was put on probation, and my family had, had enough. They took me to the hospital, where I was admitted, and put on medication and began participating in some support groups; however, I continued to worry about what the public was thinking of me.
I did eventually get married and we had a daughter. Before my daughter was born, I was in and out of the hospital a number of times. After a few years, the marriage ended in divorce-I had quit taking my meds and my symptoms had returned. I heard voices, had angry outbursts, was paranoid and attempted suicide a few times.
I did finally get stabilized on medications, but was drinking at the same time. After my marriage ended, I lived with my parents for awhile and eventually moved into the high rise, where I lived with my sister for a couple of years. During this time, I quit drinking and was on the right combination of meds which helped me to become stable enough to get a job and receive my driver’s license.
Part of my successful recovery journey is due to the people in my support circle. My caseworker has helped me to improve my self esteem, and my sisters understand my illness and show me support.
I used to believe that I didn’t really need medications, but now know that I definitely do. I also used to feel that I was not a good person, but now believe that I am. Throughout my recovery journey, I have come to find out that I am not the only one with a mental illness, and have learned to accept my mental illness. I have also discovered some of my strengths: I can solve problems, am a good listener, and can face my fears and overcome them.
Some of the main factors that contribute to my stability are: socializing with friends, attending support group, taking care of my physical health, talking about my problems, and learning more about my illness.
My diagnosis is schizophrenia. I have received services at North Central for about 28 years and as a result, have not been hospitalized for the last 20 years.
My future goals include getting a part time job and learning to be a good grandpa. I enjoy living without being depressed and I stay active and in touch with my family. My family continues to support me and hold me accountable, because they truly care about me.
My story starts in my youth. One of my first memories is watching a show that showed cops going after a bad guy. The cops said that the bad guy was “mentally ill” and wasn’t, at the time, taking his meds. Though I couldn’t have known then, later in life I would be stricken with such a disease. I knew I wasn’t “normal” and thought when I saw this man on television, that what was wrong with him might be what was abnormal in me. Somehow looking back, I can see this as a manifestation of intuition.
My memories begin the first time I was hospitalized. Though mostly “normal,” for all apparent and imprecise usage of the word, I have begun to understand those years. I didn’t do well in school, but I later found out through a test my tutor saw, I was intelligence-wise, in the top 10th percentile of my class. I believe a part of the reason for my first hospitalization was due to me becoming despondent of being dumb or stupid as a result of my awful grades. So one morning, I began to cut my arms; 4 cuts on the left one, a much deeper cut on the right. When the nurse at school saw my arms, she told me that what I had done was disgusting, but I had been in so much pain emotionally, slicing my arms was a release; a salve to my pain.
The hospital and the time away from schooling helped, and did a world of good. Since the incident at school, I had started seeing a psycho-therapist for help. I think I had been on anti-depressants for a month after being hospitalized.
Two to four years later, at the age of 16, I became violently depressed and decided to plan a way to end my life. I went outside, in the middle of winter, and smoked a bowl of marijuana. I then took sleeping pills and lied down in the snow. Within 10 seconds my head fell back and everything went black. The next think I knew, I was walking 129 yards from where I had laid down and as I walked four steps, I fell once. I eventually made it out of the woods and got home, where my parents found me soaked from head to toe, and freezing cold. This was the second time I would be hospitalized.
I eventually got disability, and was prescribed medication. I tried working along the way, but couldn’t seem manage my illness and hold a job at the same time. There were times I went off my meds, but now I have been medicated fairly consistent for years. Though my depression and the voices can be hard to fight, I have become able to cope with these factors.
Thankfully, I now know the dangers of street drugs in relation to mental illness. I think of marijuana still, but will make sure that it is something I never do again. Instead, I enjoy life without the drug which would almost certainly cause me to have an episode. I take more from life than ever before, using medication and my sense of spirituality to cope.
I have been drug free for two years now, and hope to never have another episode. I am going back to school for art.
I hope that this short telling of some of the events in my life might provide some hope for someone finding out they have a mental illness. Things do get better!!
Jason’s Recovery Journey
There were already many different struggles I had in my life, such as living with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder, that made life tough enough-but as you read, I guess I needed more of a challenge.
Growing up I always had a strong relationship with my Dad, and it was pretty hard for me to have a good friendship with anyone. So when my parents split up and my Dad moved away, my depression set in. My Mom always had a problem with me because I was so much like my Dad. She always seemed to put me down because of my disability. Her statements were always negative like: “You will never be able to make it on your own,” and “you won’t be able to take care of yourself.” It was those statements that caused me to fall into a deeper depression, and to also start drinking during my teenage years.
I could no longer allow myself to be subjected to all the negativity, and had to prove to myself that I could make it on my own. I left my Mom’s house and spent the first few months in a tent in the backyard of a friend from highschool. Even though the thought was right about leaving home and proving my independence, I was broke, alone, and lost. I felt so empty inside, being cut off from family, taking anti-seizure medications, drinking all the time, getting severe migraine headaches, and shaking uncontrollably. It was time to do something.
I made my first trip to the hospital inpatient unit, and was diagnosed with severe depression and seizures. I was in the hospital for about a month, and I had begun taking Lexapro, while learning many coping skills to help me, like breathing techniques, music, and images of sunsets to help me relax. Although I learned a lot and started taking medication, I was still drinking heavy throughout the years. I was never happy with myself and felt alone all the time.
Following my time in the hospital, I was able to move in with a couple of friends. We shared an apartment, and I got a job with a regular schedule and I had a stable living environment. I should have been proud of myself by now, but I wasn’t; something was missing from my life.
I began to talk to my Dad again, and moved out to Chicago to be with him. Here I got my own apartment and a job at a hotel downtown. The only problem was my drinking and I did a lot more of it while in Chicago with my Dad, because he was an alcoholic too. I was drinking heavily while taking all of my medications. The medication was not able to work correctly, due to all of the alcohol and as a result, I felt drowsy all of the time.
I had the hotel job for two years but then was let go and therefore could no longer afford to live in my apartment. My Dad was living with his parents so he could not help me. At this point, I had learned enough throughout the years to realize when it was time to fix my relationship with my Mom, and take her help this time. I moved in with her for about six months.
When I began receiving disability benefits, I went to a place called “Friendship Village,” in Ottawa, Illinois, where I began working. I left my Mom’s and moved to Ottawa, which was almost two hours away from my family. I was working and lived in the public housing high rise; however, I lost the job after two years because of my drinking.
It was not until a doctor’s appointment, where the doctor told me, “If you keep drinking, you will send yourself to an early grave,” that it hit me inside and made me want to stop drinking.
I then began seeing a woman at North Central and started Intensive Outpatient classes for my depression and drinking problem, in addition to attending Alcoholics Anonymous classes. Since I was not drinking, I was able to be on my medications and therefore felt much more alert. This finally made me feel proud of myself because I was trying to better my life. For the first time I can say that I am proud of myself and am excited about where my life is going.
These days I am still attending after care through North Central and also PSR classes. I made some really good friends throughout this program. I live in LaSalle in a very nice two bedroom trailer, thanks to some help from my Mom and Step dad. I pay them rent, pay my other bills, take care of my place, do laundry, shop and cook. If I begin to think negatively about anything, I use the coping skills I learned from all of my classes or will call my Dad, and number of friends I made in this process-this way I never feel alone.
I have come a very long way, and it has all been worth it. I have never felt more healthy or proud of my life. I know I will only continue to make things better for myself for the rest of my life.
I really don’t know where to begin, but I will give it a try. As a young child, I was wild, fearless and curious, which didn’t set well in the 50’s-neither in school settings or at home with family.
I had a very difficult time with school. It was like being in prison, no excitement and way too serious. ADD at that time in history was not even known of; so it was not treatable. The only treatment received was poor grades, and beatings from my dad, even though I had a high IQ-which really bothered my parents. They blamed themselves, which is ridiculous-it was not their fault.
I was always an anxious child; nothing ever was easy for me. However, I could out-run and out-jump anyone my age and dunk a basketball in the eighth grade-so that’s where I shined. But I always felt that people were talking about me behind my back, and my only way to survive was to fight. I did fight often, and very well, but I am getting a little off base now—
I abused myself with booze and self-medicated because I thought that helped. I was diagnosed with depression and dysthymic disorder. I worked all of my life, putting myself through Marquette High School and a 24 ½ year career at Snap-On Tools, until its closing. Then came more mental health problems, and I was re-diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and ADD.
I went through a very bad and ugly divorce after 23 ½ years of marriage, and four great kids. The divorce threw me for a loop and with Snap-On closing its doors, all went down in a year’s time. That was the final nail for me. I made attempts at suicide, the police were called, and I was sent to the hospital. There were 3 attempts altogether so in and out of hospitals I went.
I saw plenty of doctors and counselors, but you see nothing would work. I thought I was better off dead. It seemed to be the only solution, and it would be best for all concerned. I was in a very deep, deep depression. I quit living, and just existed. I spent all of my time planning my death. There just had to be a way where no one would be any wiser.
Finally I began to change. With the right meds, doctors, and counselors, I wanted to live and not just exist anymore. I no longer looked at myself as a loser. Thank GOD for North Central, and its complete staff-especially PSR. I just didn’t attend classes; I participated and applied what I learned. That’s what started me on my recovery journey. It has been a bumpy road, and has not been easy but my self-esteem has taken a dramatic jump for the best. I have discovered that I have so much to live for-my children, grandkids, friends, peers, and staff. I feel like a poster child for mental health.
But enough about me, what about you? Do you have the guts and fortitude to grow and begin your recovery journey? Or do you want to be a stick in the mud and never recover? One more thing, don’t ever be too proud or too scared to reach out for help. Only you can ask for it, accept it, and then work like hell.
For almost 60 years I have suffered with ADD; 10 years with manic depression and dysthymic disorder, and the last 4 ½ years with bipolar, anxiety, and panic disorders. All I can say is never give up; never let go, and never be ashamed. You owe it to yourself so don’t be afraid. NEVER GIVE UP.
I found in my case that I am extremely resilient because I was and am able to do things I never thought possible and I am not afraid to ask for help.
My eldest daughter takes care of my money because I would blow it all, but that is okay because in four months my house will be paid for.
I am my mother’s caregiver and she is my rock. I follow my Wellness Recovery Action Plan with routines like my medications and sleep. I try not to let anything build up inside of me and I depend on the support of my peers, family, friends, and NCBHS’s great staff to help me get through rough times.
I think for me it is important to give back. Two other gentlemen and I, chair an outreach group called, “You’re not Alone.” It has been rough getting people to come but we’re there to listen, share our life experiences and stories and if need be, send them to get professional help.
In closing, if I can do it, you can do it, but you have to put the work in.
My name is Greg. I have OCD, also known as obsessive compulsive disorder. It is a debilitating mental illness that revolves around unwarranted thoughts. I have struggled with this problem for many years with minimal success. Almost nothing that I did proved to be enigmatic.
The symptoms that I went through were at times depressing. I would get “stuck” in different places, having to repeat certain actions and becoming frozen at times and I would struggle in my daily prayers. Things did not go well for me. I had 10 ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) treatments with little or no effect. I would continue to struggle. However, over time I would gain some degree of success.
I eventually went to a group home in LaSalle at Baker Avenue. There I struggled, but not nearly as much as I had in the past. With some different medicine, things would start to improve. I stayed at Baker for 3 months, and then returned to my original apartment. At my apartment, I would remain stable until I went off my medication. This was not a wise thing to do and I put myself through a very difficult time. I would stay in bed until the afternoon and would have problems doing the most basic things, e.g. taking a shower, and moving from one spot to the next. I literally would be afraid to move and I obsessed about it each and every moment. Outbursts of anger would affect the surrounding people living in my apartment building. Most of all, my anger would affect my mom and dad. I would swear often and it eventually got so bad, my Dad would called the cops on me. I had two strikes against me--the third time I would have to be hospitalized.
From that point on I buckled down and took my medication. My dad would monitor my medication and things greatly improved. I was living a quiet lifestyle, and was conscious of the people around me and the people I hurt-especially my mom and dad.
Now, I am living independently and am in charge of my finances and daily duties. I am more relaxed and socializing with other people without any problems. To this day I am doing very well, and hope to continue to do so.