Skip navigation Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion About Us |  FAQs |  Contact Us 
ADS Center bridge over water logo

Toll-Free: 1-800-540-0320

Training Teleconferences
Information Update
Campaigns & Programs
Take Action
Campaign for Social Inclusion
Mental Health Facts
My Story
In The News
Join our Listserv
Link to Us
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 7/7/2008

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Deanne's Story

Deanne O'BrienI am in recovery from mental illness, and I believe that giving back to my community has helped me tremendously in the recovery process.

I had heard about a program called 9Muses Art Center in Broward County, Florida, where adults with psychiatric diagnoses take art classes and display their work. At that time, I did a lot of isolating; and I was excited and nervous about going.

Being out among my peers was a challenge, but I grew to love it. At first, I attended classes. Then, as I made friends and began to learn other people's stories, I discovered that I was not alone in the difficulties I had experienced.

As I began feeling better, I volunteered to teach an art class. I taught jewelry making, collage, and greeting cards. I really began to grow as a person, taking responsibility for my emotions and symptoms.

Eventually I was offered a position at the new consumer center, called Rebel's Drop-In Center, teaching arts and crafts. Working with my fellow consumers has enriched my life. I am inspired daily by the poignant struggles of people in recovery. I feel more secure in my recovery than I would have imagined possible back when I took my first art class with my peers. I have learned to manage my symptoms. I hold a full-time job at Rebel's Drop-In Center, and last year I was promoted to Project Director. I believe recovery is possible for all mental health consumers.


Adobe PDF™ and MS Office™ formatted files require software viewer programs to properly read them. Click here to download these FREE programs now.

This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.