Success Stories: Chapter 1 – Channel Marker
Welcome to Success Stories, a Qlarant blog dedicated to celebrating the best work that is done by non/not-for-profit organizations in our communities. In our first installment, we will visit Channel Marker, a not-for-profit mental health support services agency that has served residents of Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot counties in Maryland since 1982. Channel Marker’s programs provide comprehensive care management, comprehensive transitional care, individual and family support services, care coordination, health promotion, and social services referrals to those who have severe and persistent mental illness or serious chronic and acute physical co-morbidities.
Qlarant Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Qlarant, has been providing grants to Channel Marker for the past six years. During this time period, Channel Marker has helped many people overcome their addictions and mental and physical health issues to become or return to being self-sufficient members of the community. The clients aided by this organization include veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, parents struggling with addiction, families who are homeless due to mental illness, and children with mental health issues tied to neglect. In addition to these, many other clients have been helped whose mental illnesses have prevented them from managing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The following Success Story demonstrates how Channel Marker has made a difference in the lives of individuals and families.
Dave’s Success Story
In 2011, Dave was referred to Channel Marker (CM) by the Department of Social Services. He is a Vietnam veteran with severe and persistent mental illness characterized by the symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Every night and often during the day since serving in the war, he hears the screams of soldiers, the sounds of gunfire, and of bombs exploding – experiences he had witnessed. These auditory hallucinations made him unemployable, homeless, angry, and alcoholic.
After six years of hard work within the therapeutic support program of Channel Marker, he is stabilized, sober, and successfully living in a group home where he caringly helps others. The Channel Marker team of a psychiatrist and rehabilitation specialist and especially his case manager, Lisa, helped Dave build communication skills, social relationships and self-esteem. He manages his anger, understands his mental illness, and adheres to his medication regimen.
Following his recent move out of the Channel Marker service area, he wrote a thank you note to Lisa. It is pictured here and transcribed below so you can easily read Dave’s message.
“I just want to take time to thank you, Julie and others, but you especially Lisa. The day I walked into Channel Marker, I made up my mind this is gonna be the last time I try. I was not going to live the last 60 years like I’ve lived the first. No doctors, no nothing to go to. Then you got me to Dr. Wells (CM psychiatrist,) Jennie (CM therapist) and Christine (CM nurse). You ail gave me life worth living for again. It was you people gave me life again. You are ail the first thing I think of in the morning and the last at night. I love you and miss you all more than you will ever know. When I get my small truck, I can ride down. Well, thank you again for what you have done for me and all you will help me. Your friend forever.”
Dave’s Success Story is a positive outcome that not all veterans get to have. According to a study by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the risk for suicide is 22 percent higher for veterans than non-veteran adults and 65 percent of all Veterans who died by suicide were age 50 or older[i]. Channel Marker’s impact on Dave’s life cannot be overstated.
Qlarant Foundation is privileged to be able to financially support the incredible work that Chanel Marker does to address mental illness and improve for both the mental and physical health of its clients.
Join me next month to learn about the Maryland Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped and how they help people get the dental services they need to be eligible for treatment of other serious medical issues.
Best People. Best Solutions. Best Results®
Dave’s Success Story used by permission from Channel Marker, Inc.
4 Replies to “Success Stories: Chapter 1 – Channel Marker”
These are fantastic capturings of how Qlarant supports population health, both ethically and financially. Talk about a “feel good” vibe when you know you work for an organization that is supporting the issues that hit the most vulnerable populations the hardest (addiction, dental, depression, psych, etc.).
As an individual who worked in the field of mental health for 35 years, I absolutely know that the work that Channel Marker does is very needed and special. Mental illness and addiction is a life long journey. Channel Marker is an invaluable asset to the folks and the communities that they serve.
Amazing how far people can come given the support and encouragement they need to overcome terrible adversity and challenges, and to tap their own strengths and find their core resilience. Of course, without the financial support of an organization like Qlarant, which enables people to get the best care possible for medical problems, none of this would be possible. Thank you Qlarant, for making these stories a shining light today.
Thank you for your comments. I am very pleased to work for an organization that shares its good fortunes with other organizations that work to improve the lives of vulnerable people in the community. The work that Channel Marker does to improve the lives of people with mental health illness is remarkable. The Qlarant Foundation is pleased to be in partnership with them.