Salvation Army receives $165K for mental health program

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- State legislators presented The Salvation Army with a $165,000 check Thursday for its residential substance-abuse and mental health treatment program.

“All too often, addiction is coupled with mental health issues,” said Major Tim Gilliam, Area Commander for The Salvation Army. “These resources will help us offer clients the hand up they need on their road to recovery.”

People like Michelle Morrell say the much-needed funds have helped her get back on her feet.

“It was pretty hard but I got into drugs really bad about two years ago and got in trouble.”

Mental health issues led to drug addiction and prostitution for Morrell.

“Bipolar, schizophrenic. I had a lot of issues in my past where I couldn’t deal with because of my mental health state so I started using drugs,” Morrell described.

Morrell, who has seven kids, lost custody because of her history with the law.

“I was trying to find love, I guess, now that I go through counseling, they’re telling me that’s the kind of thing that you deal with. Your kids, having your children as somebody to love you back,” Morrell said. “I neglected my children and to me, my world was my kids so when I destroyed that, it destroyed me.”

Morrell says she didn’t need prison, what she needed was help.

Between spending three years in prison or taking part in a six-month program at the Salvation Army, she chose the latter.

Morrell attended the check presentation Thursday, just one week from her graduation of the program.

“Now that I’ve been here, there’s a lot of resources and people that are helping in the community.”

Morrell currently has a job at Arby’s, which she loves, and after her Salvation Army graduation, she’ll go to a halfway house before she hopes to finally return home.

She adds if one person hears her story and seeks help, putting it all out there will have been worth it.

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