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My name is Alice, age 44, and I have schizoaffective disorder.

I lost my job as a peer advocate at a residential mental health center, and things got worse until I hit bottom when I hit a neighbor in my senior and disabled residence. Being hospitalized came next because I had been off my meds and getting out of control.

I got back on the road to recovery by starting to volunteer at an animal shelter. They only allowed me to do it when I had graduated from the TIP (Therapeutic Intervention Program) Program that was the justice system that I had been in until I exited from the program early because of good behavior. Then they allowed me to participate in the orientation for volunteers and get paired up with a mentor and then start to observe and work with the cats and other volunteers and techs.

I have to go to a mental health center, take meds, see a doctor and see a case manager. I take medications throughout the day. There have been many times when I have needed an emergency delivery of meds because it is that important that I have all my meds in my system. I have gotten to like my mental health center, such that I go to it twice a week voluntarily to use their computers on the days I volunteer.

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