When I first came to Caramore, I was afraid of everything, hearing voices, scared, paranoid, and because everyone was so nice and patient, I started feeling like my old self again. If it wasn't for Caramore, I don't know what would have happened to me. I believe they really saved my life. I am so grateful for a program like Caramore.
Thank God for Caramore,
I Scott Shearin want to tell you that Caramore is one of the greatest things that has happened to me. It has helped me to develop good work skills and I have learned so much. Caramore is going to lead to many good things in my future. I am treated kindly and the RAs have been fair and sincere in ther job to help us clients. Not only is Caramore going to lead to a career and education as well. I will always be thankful and greatful for all of the help you have given me.
I want to tell you that the psychiatric care from Carr Mill Shopping Mall have been the best mental health doctors I have ever had. Thanks to Caramore for giving the best doctors to my case. I believe God has led me to Caramore and I have benefitted much from it.
Before the road to Caramore intersected with my life, I was one of the most critical people you’d ever meet.
In Tier 1, I spent most of my free time hiding in my bedroom, silently criticizing everyone and everything in my head. My ego and I in particular seemed to have "bull's eyes" for me to throw darts at. If you met me back then, I would’ve zoomed in on your faults and ignored your talents!
In Tier 2, my best friend and roommate (a Caramore graduate who is now one of Caramore’s best RAs!), encouraged me to “get out of my shell.” So I hung out with her in the med office (a great place to meet other clients, by the way), where I met and connected with new friends. I became more social and less critical, somewhat, at this stage.
In Tier 3, I was cruising past the speed limit one last time, crashing my criticism directly into a club I didn't approve of and Caramore accommodates. As soon as Caramore helped me change the oil in my "car" (outlook on life), I finally realized how negative my thoughts were. I'm now mentally insured by a company called "Happiness"! (And it's been over 3 years since I experienced my second, and last, involuntary hospitalization and hallucination).
It was then (Tier 3) my new life-changing attitude allowed Caramore to piece its way into the big puzzle that is me! And so my relationships within the Community have been renewed.
Thanks to the new "leash" on life Caramore gave me, I’m:
1). now a member of NAMI. Caramore encourages clients to explore mental health issues outside our close-knit Community!
If the above sounds like I'm bragging, well, I am! Caramore worked hard with me (not for me!) to get where I am now. As a result, I'm finally happy with my identity and I'm happy to be alive!
2). hopeful I can contribute to the fight against stigma! I openly discussed my schizoaffective disorder during my latest interview and my employer told me the disorder runs in her family (I even told her Caramore is the reason I'm prepared for the interview!). She hired me on the spot!
3). more intuitive! Along with my therapist (and my mother the social worker!), Caramore taught me to follow my intuition and to speak my mind (positively!).
4). more financially savvy. Caramore (and a businessman for my father!) inspired me to follow the daily budget I created, with Scott's help!
5). a Parking Monitor for Special Events at UNC, a really fun job Barry referred me to!
6). no longer afraid to venture outside my own city, by bus! Caramore taught me how to navigate the bus system.
7). discovering who I am, who I'm not and what my passions are! Caramore promotes only the best in us.
Victoria de Ney
Caramore is not a place where you go to recover. It's a place where you
go to live, grow, and work together. I never thought I would find a
community like the community at Caramore.
I came into the program in late April 2009, and it was a very tough decision for me. It was a struggle to leave the strong support of my church and the friends I had there to take on this new season of life. I talked with my pastors and friends, and they were all supportive and prayed for and with me. The transition has not been an easy one, with many ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, but through it all, I've come a LONG way. I've grown, matured, made some great, lifelong friendships through this program, and, though it may not seem like it at times, I am truly grateful for the opportunities the staff has given me. Before I came here, I was lost, lonely, depressed and uncertain of myself. I didn't know what I wanted. Caramore gave me the direction I needed, even though I resisted strongly at first. I'm also grateful for the support I get from others who are in the program. Thanks to my Faith, God leading me down this path He knew I needed, I'm standing more on my own two feet than I ever have before. The staff helped me get and keep a job, and I'm able to pay my own bills without mom and dad's help. Caramore has also improved my relationships with family members, which is a huge step in the right direction for me, and something I've wanted for a long, long time. I'm so glad there is a program out there to help adults my age and older learn how to stand on their own two feet. This is what I've needed for a long, long time; just a firm push towards actually being an adult, acting like an adult, and taking responsibility for myself. So, thank you, Caramore staff for helping me in this difficult and rewarding time in my life. I'm so grateful to you all. I know it hasn't been easy, but I'm truly so Blessed that I was giving such an opportunity like this.
God Bless you all,
To all my "homies" at Caramore
My name is Barry Shanley and I am the Program Director at Caramore. I feel privileged to be able to do what I do and honored to be a part of so many people's lives. Whatever ability and talents I may have to do what I do is constantly being reinforced and nourished by the strength and resilience of the participants I serve. I have never in my life met so many fiercely determined people who put forth such effort to achieve their goals.
Success at Caramore does not come easy --- the people I have met work hard for their achievements, overcome countless obstacles in their paths, and do what needs to be done to attain their dreams. After 15 years of working so closely with the participants in the Caramore Program, I am still moved beyond words at the hope and courage of many of the people I meet. The stories I have heard, the experiences I have witnessed, the determination I see every day --- There is a true wonder at what people can do when they put all their energies towards a purpose.
Clients have often thanked me for what we do at Caramore ... I can only thank them for inspiring me to do what I can do as part of their journeys. My experience with every client I have known has enriched me in ways I never dreamed possible.
Thanks to all Caramore participants, past and present, for creating such an environment that brings out the best in everyone.
Caramore has been such a blessing in helping my mom progress towards "getting back on her feet." Her entry into the program was exactly what she needed at the right time. She has told me nothing but positive things about all of the staff and participants. I can't thank you enough for giving her this opportunity and changing both of our lives in the process.
All I can simply say is Thank You! God Bless,
I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me this opportunity. It means alot to me, and I can feel my life changing day by day. Even though I've only been here for one week, something has changed in me, and I think that all of you are really doing a great thing for alot of people. I was lost as lost could be before I came here. I was lonely, confused, and depressed. My anger and anxiety over my difficult past had spun out of control, and right when I thought that I couldn't take another step forward in my life, the best happened. 30 years of Caramore, I mean, hey, you all must be doin something right. I feel that this really is a blessing from God, and I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for giving me a chance at a new life.
Peace and Love,
Upon considering what the Caramore Community has meant to me personally, my first thought was that the essence of Caramore is not easily expressed in mere words. Rather, what came to mind was a panoply of emotions. I remember . . . my tears of gratitude that my daughter was finally in a safe and nurturing environment . . . my sense of awe and wonder upon realizing during the first months of her stay how magnificently competent, wise, compassionate, forgiving and supportive all the staff members were . . . my soaring pride in what my daughter, buoyed by the faith and trust and high expectations of her mentors, had been able to accomplish in a very short time . . . my relief in realizing that my daughter and I were no longer left abandoned and alone to cope in the dark, chaotic world of mental illness.
Thanks to Caramore, I am now more at peace, more optimistic, more confident that my daughter will be all right. But, more importantly, thanks to Caramore, my daughter is now a flourishing, vibrant, productive member of the greater community. She brings me great joy.
The cohesive community of Caramore is unique in its ability to accomplish its mission of rehabilitation, life skills management, independence, opportunity and success for its clients. For my daughter and me the Caramore program has been a profound life-changing experience.
In a sentence, Caramore is the best thing to happen to Hunter since his mental illness diagnosis back in June of 2007.
When my husband and I had to have Hunter involuntarily committed, that was definitely the worst day of our lives. We were no strangers to mental illness. We have three uncles that have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, but it was still very devastating to the whole family. Hunter is a bright young man who had just turned 21. He had an excellent job, was hard working and energetic. His mental illness robbed him of all that he had been working towards in just a few days.
After Hunter’s initial release from Johnston Memorial Mental Health, we found ourselves helpless. Johnston County does not offer much in the way of services to the mentally ill or the family members. We called everyone we could think of and finally one day we stumbled onto Johnston County Vocational Rehabilitations Services. Their first job was to help Hunter keep his current job. This was not an easy task considering we had not found the right blend of medications for Hunter yet.
He struggled to go to bed at night, he struggled to get up in the morning, and he struggled at work with the side effects of the medications and the symptoms that were still present. As hard as we all tried he was still spiraling downward. He spent many days and nights locked away in his room. Unfortunately in December of 2007, just six months after his initial diagnosis, Hunter had to commit himself to Holly Hill Mental Hospital. After spending a week at Holly Hill, Hunter came home in much better spirits but still continued to struggle at work and at home. He eventually had to quit his job. And we were all left wondering, what now? He started working through Johnston County Vocational Rehabilitation services at Johnston County Industries. This was an easy job. Too easy. Hunter was bored and lonely and still struggling. It was now September of 2008 and it had been 14 months since his diagnosis. His counselor Judy started talking to him about Caramore. What a scary thought for us to send our sick child away to another part of the state. Although it was only 45 miles away, it might as well have been 400 miles away. We felt like we had failed him and were sending him away. After Hunter’s first visit to Caramore I knew immediately that it was just what he needed. Caramore would provide him with a home, a job, a good team of doctors, and transportation to work and to doctor appointments. The team at Caramore had experience dealing with young men and woman that had similar diagnosis. But most of all it was Hunter’s decision to go. He was excited about something for the first time in 14 months. Even though my husband and I cried the first weekend that Hunter stayed at Caramore, it did not take long for us to figure out that Hunter was exactly where he needed to be.
I can't say enough good things about the program. It worked just like you said it would. He got up every day and went to work. He quickly got a competitive job that he loves, and he works with wonderful people who care about him. First in tier one he stayed in one of the group homes. Then he moved onto tier two and he moved into an apartment. Eventually out of the program and into an apartment of his own. He got his car, his independence, and his sense of self worth back all because he believed in the Caramore program.
Caramore provides "peace of mind" in knowing that my son has a partner in his fight for mental health. Our family has a fighting chance because of this program. I feel blessed that we learned about Caramore. The concept, the program implementation and the staff have all made a difference in all of our lives. The sense of doom we felt when my son was diagnosed turned into hope when we were introduced to Caramore. Instead of shame about schizophrenia, I feel empowered and I am eager to share with others how Caramore has positively impacted our lives.
After 8 months in Cherry Hospital I was admitted in the Caramore Community. I had no clue of how blessed, grateful and lucky I was to be apart of something that would bring a positive change to my life. My stay at the group home built the foundation for my new life. While being there I had no idea of how important it was. Working on the lawn crew and living with people that would do anything to make you stronger to fight for a better life while suffering a mental-illness is something you cant get everyday. It prepared me to use all the tools to live a life in peace and reality. When I left Fountain Ridge for the apartments I couldn't have been more excited. I had so much fun and shared everyday with friends that helped achieve the important goals in life. There was always a solution for my troubled mind to everyone I turned too. I could always call on someone to have fun in my crazy life. Living with the Caramore Community made me a witness of how people with mental-illness grow to be a success in the world. Caramore Community offered me opportunities for a better life while coping with a mental illness There will never be any regrets for having spent my time in life with the Caramore Community. It proved to myself that even though I had a mental illness I could be a productive member of society.
As a former Caramore Community client, I am optimistic and have a positive outlook on life. In the past, my untreated mental illness left me pessimistic and hopeless. Caramore gave me hope for the future and served as a catalyst to success. Caramore helped me better understand how to manage my mental illness. With support from Caramore, I effected changes to put my new understanding into action. The program expanded my horizons, and gave me opportunity and a sense of accomplishment. Seeing others succeed through the program inspired me. I am grateful that Caramore has allowed me the opportunity to give back to our community by working for the program. Now, I am able to help others with comparable experiences. At Caramore, we are given the support and structure we need while, at the same time, given enough room to flourish. Being a part of Caramore Community allows us to see what we can accomplish so that we may succeed. Caramore Community is a positive environment that facilitates wellness, stability and personal improvement. Caramore’s understanding and support is invaluable.
When a family member is ill, the whole family suffers. When the ill family member is young and the diagnosis is a serious, chronic disease, the adjustment is very difficult and uncertain. When the diagnosis is schizophrenia, family members are paralyzed with indecision and questions. It is terrifying. Caramore stood in the gap for us and held us together. I do not know how we would have managed without the help of the wonderful people in the Caramore community.
Caramore stood with us through the difficult months toward recovery; they actively participated in the multidisciplinary plan of therapy and diligently monitored the evening medications. As Stacey clinically improved, Caramore looked for appropriate jobs, facilitated interviews, provided transportation when needed and succeeded in successful employment opportunities.
Barry Shanley takes a personal interest in the Caramore clients. He truly wants his clients to be successful and to regain as much normal function as possible. His realistic, but compassionate counsel—as well as his keen ability to assess each client’s strengths and weaknesses—is the key to his successful management of the Caramore program.
I do not know what might have happened if we did not have Caramor to help us hang on during the difficult times. I give my heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful people at Caramore. I will not try to name everyone (for I would surely leave several out), but we are so appreciative of all you do.
Kudos to Caramore. This is a program worth the money and worth reduplicating around the state.
Caramore offerred me a stable environment in which I could live, take care of my medical needs, and function at a job. It also offerred me a way to get on own and still receive support. Otherwise, I don't think that I could have made it. I had my own apartment and my own roomate, but I still needed guidance and moral support. I particularly benefit from being a staff member at Caramore, because it enables me to develop my managerial, organizational, and personal skills while being coached in an un-threatening environment.
To me, my family in a sense is CARAMORE.
I have grown so much in the 6 years I have been a part of this wonderful organization.
I have seen my friends mature and become adults just like me.
My immediate family is so grateful to CARAMORE.
I hope that I can continue to grow as we move to the future.
A good friend told me about Caramore in 2007 but I told him I wasn't ready to make
a commitment. When 2008 rolled around I was feeling more at peace with myself
and decided to contact Caramore and so the process began.
After being in assisted care for 6 years my self esteem was rather low. I had tried
to go out on my own 2 times during that period and could not make it. I won't say
that I failed because both times I learned alot. What Caramore means to me:
It means a safe environment, plenty of support, setting and meeting goals for
independent living and meeting alot of great people from a variety of places.
Its been a life saver for someone like me who could not get it together.
I would highly recommend the Caramore Community. Due to learning disabilities and depression, my child had failed to progress following high school graduation For 7 years she neither earned a degree nor worked. While I was at work, she would forget to take her medications and spend the day sleeping. Finally, she was admitted to Caramore. Their experienced staff carefully scaffolded her transition into the world of work and adult relationships, beginning with extensive monitoring and progressively moving towards independence. They provided counseling and a structured living environment to supervise and model life skills. The Housing staff gave her advice on how to interact with others and ensured that she understood and fulfilled her responsibilities to the group. They ensured that she took her medications, helped her find a job and gave her the support she needed to be successful at it. I don’t know where our family would be without the help of this wonderful organization!
Michelle Dansereau Johnson
After months of being passed between different clinics and hospitals, we were sent to Caramore by a social worker. What the Caramore staff did first for our family was to provide the assurance that we are not alone with Lane’s illness. We now know that we have a partner that is knowledgeable and understands Lane’s type of mental illness, and that partner is the staff at Caramore. They have helped him to get a job; learn to live independently, and to become a productive individual. But most of all, they have given him hope that he has a future. We cannot sing enough praises about the staff at Caramore for their caring and unwavering concern over each and every individual that comes through their doors. Without the help of the staff at Caramore, I would hate to think where Lane would be today.
Ann & Bob
It is hard to put into words what Caramore has meant to us over this last year. Twice it has been a "life line" to our son and subsequently to us; his family, as we have dealt with some of the debilitating issues of mental illness that can be overwhelming to all. The wonderful, caring people at Caramore did not give up on our son even when it seemed like he had given up on himself.
Our son has found a "safe haven" where there are caring people and a great program that can help him gain and improve the skills he needs to live and work in the community. He feels respected, looks forward to things and is learning to accept the responsibility of acquiring the positive life skills he needs to live a productive life with an illness, in contrast to barely existing day to day. Caramore has brought calm and peace into our lives as parents. It is reassuring to know that our son is with people who will work with him in making decisions, setting goals for his everyday life and help him to deal with a life with an illness - things that are difficult, if not impossible, for parents to do for adult "children".
We thank God everyday that we had the good fortune to "stumble" on Caramore. We are so grateful for the compassionate people who work with our son, providing him with a support system as he deals with his life..
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Diane & Bob Enger