OBH Success Story From the Field: "Best Christmas Present Ever"
An Antonito man recently shared how services he received through the Office of Behavioral Health were his “best Christmas present ever".
David shared with OBH staff that he was a successful labor worker and had been working the majority of his life. A car hit David one day while he was riding his motorcycle to work. After the accident, David was in a coma for four days. When he came out of the coma, he had a collapsed lung and broken ribs. David was then let go from work because of his injuries, he said.
David became homeless and starting drinking to cope with the pain from his accident and eventually received a DUI. He moved to the San Luis Valley two years ago and had been living in an abandoned building in the mountains.
Then David became connected with the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homeless (PATH), which is a federal grant run through the Office of Behavioral Health that assists homeless people with serious mental illness. The PATH provider in David’s area, the San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group (SLVBHG), learned that David wanted to find stable housing in the area. David said he told his new case manager that he did not think he would ever find a place due to previously not having the support of others around him.
Within two months, David had been approved for low-income housing. David said he called his PATH case manager and told him he could not believe that he was accepted.
David says. “Honestly, in my case if it weren’t for getting a DUI, and getting on probation, I wouldn’t be here today. I got a probation officer; and I decided to work with him to get through my probation. I didn’t turn away from him or treat him like an enemy. I worked hard to complete everything well, and for the first time in a long time, I had support—my PO worked with me, and was understanding and listened to me, and took time to know my needs. He connected me to PATH; and I thank God for the connection.”
Thanks to the staff at SLVBHG, David now has a circle of support. He visits the office often just to check in or “work through his head issues.”
David loves the PATH program at SLVBHG so much that he has become an advocate for behavioral health services and supports. He avidly tells others how to get behavioral health services, and has added Colorado Crisis Services to his list of referrals.