To be totally honest, I had no idea what to expect when I walked through the doors at Rhonda’s House that Friday. I had just spent the last 5 days in behavioral unit at Mercy Hospital after collapsing in a bar from pneumonia. They contacted my emergency contact and he informed the hospital staff that on June 28, 2018 my son had died in my arms after a car accident, then on July 5 of the same year my wife of 22 years took her own life, I had literally crawled into a bottle until my collapse. I signed a 72 hour voluntary stay form and that is when I was transferred to the unit. I was given sweatpants, a t-shirt, shown how to order meals, shown where I was to sleep & then shown the T.V room.  I wasn’t spoken to again until I saw the doctor on a teleprompter, which lasted for about 3 minutes the next morning. He placed me on several medications. This lasted for the next 72 hours. The capacity of the unit was 7 and I was the only one there at the time and the nurses couldn’t take the time to even sit down talk with me. By Friday, I had had enough. A friend of mine suggested that I consider going to Rhonda’s House to stay, he was concerned about me being home alone. I agreed and was brought by taxi to the house. I initially met Todd who instead of asking me a bunch of questions, shook my hand and told me his story, which did two things. the first is it helped me to relax and the second is it gave me a sense that I wasn’t alone. After showing me to my room we sat down and did my intake paperwork, it dawned on me halfway thru that I was finally talking about my loss to a stranger. I felt I could trust him because of the way he was willing to problems with me. Kris the other staff working that night shared bits of her story and a bigger built chunk of my isolation wall I had built around me crumbled, I’m not going to say I slept great that first night, but I will say that I was more relaxed than I had been in months. Since that first night every staff member has taken the time to tell me bits and pieces of their story which has allowed me to continue to tear down the barriers that I had built around my losses. They helped me get with a grief counselor, AA, and they supported me with the importance of journaling, talking, sharing my feelings & trusting again. In short, the love, care & compassion of the the staff has helped save my life. If I was up at  2:00am I could talk to whichever staff was working about whatever was bothering me and the conversation was genuine. I went from the brink of death to facing life again because of the love and support from this house. I know very little about mental health, but I do know what love is and this house is filled with it.  Thank you!!

Sincerely, Robert

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Wellness Center
Rhonda's House - Respite
Life Connection's Office
Wellness Center
Rhonda's House - Respite
Life Connection's Office

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