Bridgeport program spreads messages of hope, healing for Mental Health Awareness Month
A Bridgeport program that helps people who are suffering from mental illness is spreading messages of hope and healing during Mental Health Awareness Month.
Angel Alicea, 23, is a student at Housatonic Community College. He's taking practical steps to make sure his mental health diagnosis doesn't keep him from reaching his full potential.
Alicea is part of the young adult program at Bridge House, a non-clinical support program that helps people avoid isolation by building relationships with each other after a mental health diagnosis.
"It feels like someplace you belong like a family," says Alicea.
Executive Director Mary Ellen McGuire says the free program was founded on what's called the Fountain House model, designed to help people diagnosed with serious mental illness live healthy, happy independent lives.
"We are a family really to our folks," says McGuire. "We have folks here who have no one else but us."
Alicea says his dreams of becoming a filmmaker are taking shape thanks to the support he gets from Bridge House.