Recovery is sheer poetry

Shanna-Rae shares her poetry at a SERV Recovery NJ Conference.

Shanna-Rae M. loves to write poetry.

“Give me a subject and five minutes and I could come up with one,” says Shanna-Rae, 47, a consumer with SERV Centers Passaic County.   In fact, her thoughts flow like a river current when she is writing about SERV and recovery or penning a tribute to SERV-Passaic Director Kim DeRosa “to make her feel special.”

There is hope and encouragement

In every word you speak

You have become

A champion for the weak

Shanna-Rae, who has had over 30 hospitalizations since 1977 before coming to SERV in February 2006 through Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, is recovering from bipolar disorder and addiction and has borderline personality disorder. She also engaged in self-injurious behavior (cutting), saying it made her “feel alive” and relieved emotional pain.

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Tim ‘reframes’ his life with SERV

“I gave myself a chance when I came to SERV, because I was out of options.”

That leap of faith is how Timothy M., a consumer with SERV Centers Hudson County, describes his journey from the despair of mental illness, addiction and homelessness to his current state of psychiatric stability, imminent independent apartment living in SERV’s Supportive Housing Program, and nearing the completion of his master’s degree in English literature.

“I went from chaos to stability,” Tim says of his life after joining SERV Behavioral Health System, Inc.’s SERV Centers Hudson County, based in Clifton, in 2004. “Prior to SERV, I was living on the fringe of society, desperate, fearful, a total wreck as a person,” says Tim, an articulate, soft-spoken man of 42 who has bipolar disorder with depressive symptoms.

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SERV consumer nurtures his mind, body and spirit

Chuck E. of Union County

Chuck E. of Union County (NJ) is modest when speaking of his phenomenal success toward wellness and recovery from bipolar disorder.

“Yes, I have had successes,” the 25-year-old says, but adds that he will not feel truly accomplished until he is living on his own, has a job and is a contributing member of society.

Chuck already is well on his way toward those goals due to his steadfast determination, the support of SERV Behavioral Health System, and SERV’s staff members who have worked with him during the last four years.

Read more: SERV consumer nurtures his mind, body and spirit

SERV adds properties

SERV Properties and Management Inc. recently added three apartment buildings and three group homes to its list of properties.

All three apartment buildings are located in Hudson County. Of the 38 total apartments, 16 of these units will be Supportive Housing Units that will ensure that our consumers have affordable, decent and permanent housing. In addition to rental support, consumers will have individualized support services as well as access to a flexible and responsive system of community supports to help them maintain their independence. These services will be provided by SERV Centers of New Jersey Hudson County.

Read more: SERV adds properties