Why do I continue to support Independence Center?
Because I have experienced firsthand the many wonderful supportive services that Independence Center provides to those suffering with mental illness. You see my son, John Wobbe, struggled with a serious mental illness. It roared its ugly head his freshman year in college. He left me a message one morning while I was in a meeting that rocked my world.
“Mom, I can’t take it anymore.”
I knew that I needed to get to him as soon as possible. I called him immediately and told him to hang in there and that his twin brother and I were on our way. Luckily, his older brother was in Kansas City at the time and was able to cancel his business trip and be with John until we arrived.
At first John’s diagnosis was bipolar disorder, then quickly changed to socio-affective schizophrenia and then progressed over nine years to paranoid schizophrenia when he lost his fight with his illness in 2010.
We desperately sought to find help for John as his illness progressed. Then someone told me about Independence Center. I made a call but was told at that time there was a waiting list. It wasn’t until John started seeing another Washington University Psychiatrist that he was referred and there was an opening at Independence Center.
That was a wonderful day! John was happy going to the Clubhouse program, interacting with members who understood his struggles, learning ways to manage his stress with exercise through their Wellness program, and securing part-time jobs through their Employment program. He was assigned a community support social worker who was not only a tremendous support for John, but for me by assisting on how to manage his illness.
Independence Center is the gold standard of providing programs and services to those suffering from mental illness to help restore their lives; but unfortunately, the need surpasses how many can be served. My hope is that funding continues to increase to expand services including more safe, decent housing and job opportunities to help members on their road to recovery.
You see, I know firsthand, what these services can do and also know the need is still great! That is why I continue to support Independence Center and sincerely hope you will too!
Sincerely, Cheryl Wobbe