In Our Own Voice
   

Eric Olson

I think the biggest difference of an ACT model versus any other model I'm familiar with is that we have that concept of being a hospital without walls and so we go right to the person's home. We don't try to make them fit into our schedule or come and see us at the office. We try to help them adapt and cope and learn to deal as best they possibly can in their home, in their environment

I feel like if they come in here to the office I don't get a true picture of what's going on in their lives then if I go to their homes and I can see what they're dealing with.

We don't force people to take medications. What we really try to do is help clients understand their illness and understand the effects of medication on their illness; how that can help them, and really help them understand what might happen if they don't have the medications.

I can understand when I hear that people are scared of someone with mental illness. I can understand that because I'm a citizen, too but as people learn about mental illness, I mean I work every day in this field and I've not been scared for my life or my safety. It's an illness; it's something that's going on that people can't control. And if we respond in a caring way rather than responding scared, then I think things work out.

I love it. I love the people I work with. They are just good people. They work hard, they care about the clients, they're reliable, they're responsible and they're fun. We have fun with what we do. The clients, I love the clients. They're struggling, they admit it; they're working to be better. They sometimes don't follow through. I sometimes don't follow through. I just enjoy it. I enjoy what I do. I like to get up in the morning. I like to come to work and it's fun for me.