Shelly Reinke isn’t the same person who came to the Bert Nash Community Mental Health for the first time about a year ago.
“You guys made a difference in my life; it’s been life-altering,” Shelly said. “My family has noticed the difference.”
Shelly had dealt with depression for much of her life. After her daughter died about five and a half years ago, she went to a darker place and was feeling suicidal.
“I’m grateful for what Bert Nash has to offer. You guys have done great things for me,” Shelly said. “My whole life changed once I started into these programs. It made a huge impact in my life. I’m so different than I was a year ago. It’s wonderful.”
When she came to the Bert Nash Center, she started going through the Intensive Outpatient Program. IOP is a short-term crisis stabilization program that acts as a bridge from crisis to ongoing treatment.
“It’s like a lightbulb went off after I started coming to IOP,” Shelly said. “Now that I am in a different place in my grief process, I have the ability to focus and remember things. I couldn’t have done that five years ago after my daughter died.”
As part of IOP, Shelly participated in group therapy.
“I like group and I didn’t think I would at first, because I’m pretty private,” Shelly said. “But I found an ease in talking with people who are going through similar situations and learning from them. It’s been very good.”
After doing IOP, Shelly started doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT is a skill-based program that teaches ways to cope with emotions and includes individual and group therapy.
“Being part of a group and having that availability of support, I always know I have somebody to reach out to,” Shelly said. “It’s been really great learning those skills, utilizing them and sharing them with other people.”
Even before the pandemic, Shelly didn’t go out very much.
“I was pretty much isolating anyway,” she said. “I just kind of hid, basically. But after doing DBT, I felt confident about getting out in the community again. Now I have a core group of women friends and we meet pretty much every week.”
Shelly has worked with different therapists since she started coming to the Bert Nash Center.
“It’s actually been good, because I’ve learned different skills from different people,” she said.
“I always tell people, don’t ever give up. You may not like the first therapist you get or even the fifth but keep trying because you will find somebody you will connect with, and you will find a program that fits for you.”
A retired nurse, helping others has always been a goal in Shelly’s life. So, she hopes sharing her story will encourage others.
“If I can help someone else, I’m happy to do that,” Shelly said. “We can’t let people think it’s bad to have mental health issues. It’s part of life. Things happen in our lives that change us profoundly. We have to do something to move forward. Don’t give up hope. There’s always a better way. Bert Nash has taught me that.”