Born in Guyana, Desiree Wilson moved to the United States thirty years ago when she was 30 years old. She worked as a data entry clerk in New York City before experiencing a nervous breakdown in 1999 after the death of her father. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Desiree struggled for several years with repeat hospitalizations and living in several settings. This downward spiral turned around for Desiree after she began coming to the FAIR Drop-In Center run by CNS and ultimately to the CNS Visions Clubhouse in Pontiac.
At Visions, Desiree provides vital utilization data entry services as part of the clubhouse’s “work-ordered day” program and enjoys weekend movies and Chinese restaurant outings. Last year, Desiree won the top prize in the Visions’ Talent Show when she performed a stirring Trinidadian poem.
Desiree has accessed several CNS programs since coming to the agency 15 years ago, including psychiatry, therapy, case management and Community Living Supports. Desiree has lived in her own apartment for the past two years where she enjoys cooking Guyanese recipes she learned from her mother. She attributes her success in living independently to the support she’s received from her case manager, Yvonne Croskey, and from her support network at Visions. “I’m doing very well these days,” she reports. “My outlook on life changed since I started coming to Visions. The most compelling assistance I received was when Visions opened their doors to me… not ajar, but wide open. They embraced me and my illness.”
“The most compelling assistance I received was when Visions opened their doors to me… not ajar, but wide open. They embraced me and my illness…”