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Mental Health and Homelessness

Holly - Mental Health and HomelessnessHolly Simons, a psychiatric nurse, worked in the prison system for 10 years and first visited UGM while researching safe places for an inmate to go upon release.

“I was amazed at what was being offered,”she said. So later, she came back to volunteer and has been working with UGM Men’s Recovery for close to two years.

At the prison, Holly heard “a lot of the trauma men had experienced and the pain and how it was continuing to surface in their depression and anxiety.” She sees UGM as a safe place for men to look deeper,“to go back to the history of some of the traumas.”

Holly plays several roles on the team. She screens new referrals and looks at their history with regard to mental health and medications, as well as legal and illegal substances. She directs psychodrama therapy – a form of role-playing used to help residents deal with old wounds. And she is a healthy female for men to talk to.

“I think the program is incredible. I don’t know of any program that offers what this program offers – the variety of services, the quality of counselors, the support…You feel Christ’s love in every area of the program.

“I just love being here.”

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