Early Assessment and Support Alliance

John’s Letter to the Senate HELP Committee

Dear Chair and Members of the Senate HELP Committee,

My name is John, I am a graduate of the Early Assessment and Support Alliance(EASA) program offered here in Oregon. The reason for my writing is to let you know how essential programs like EASA are for young adults who have experienced a psychosis or mental break. I entered the EASA program in 2010 and one year prior to that I experienced my first mental break. In one night it seemed like someone had flipped a switch in my brain that led me down a horrible path to the point where I was too afraid, paranoid and depressed to leave the safety and comfort of my room in my mothers basement. Without EASA I would still be that sad, paranoid, delusional mess. That is of course if I would have been able to sustain that kind of living. It also could have overwhelmed and consumed me and who knows where I would be if that were the case.

I graduated from EASA in 2012 and with the help of a few professionals that genuinely cared I became able to control my thoughts and consciously tell the difference between reality and delusion. From the case manager who went out of his way to spend hours of the day listening and helping me to the prescriber who worked with me through multiple medications to find what was right. One thing specifically that happened in the program was called the Multi Family Group. Here, multiple families met together to talk and discuss issues we were facing personally and things we were hoping to change. I learned many things from this but what first and foremost stood out to me was that I learned I was not as completely alone as I had been feeling for a year and a half prior. Through the Multi Family Group it also taught me valuable problem solving skills that I still use to this day. We would work together to create resolutions to an issue one of the group members had been facing.

I no longer need to take medication and live a completely somewhat normal life. At the age of 24 I work full time, am working towards a higher education and am completely self sustainable. I recently became indited to the Young Adult Leadership Council as apart of and working with the EASA program to help improve the lives of others who are experiencing the same traumatic issues I once faced. It has been said before but experiences like a psychosis or schizophrenia can be prevented with early intervention. EASA and other programs similar have a main goal that is simply nothing more then to help those in need.

I want to thank you and say that I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Your leadership is commendable and your commitment to the well being of families is needed and very much appreciated.