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Mandy was diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness about ten years ago. Until recently, she had been working at a low-stress job, attending a support group for people with mental illness, and taking her medication. Then she was laid off from work.

Her friends became concerned when she stopped hanging out with them. They went to visit her and found her apartment had not been cleaned and her refrigerator contained only condiments and expired food. They were not sure when she had last bathed and it was obvious she had not checked her mail in weeks. Concerned for her safety, they took her to the hospital.

Like many with a serious mental illness, Mandy can be quite stable until a stressful event kicks off another round of symptoms. Mandy will be in the hospital until she’s no longer in imminent danger. For Mandy, that could happen once she is back on her medication, and she could be released in as little as seven days.

During that time, she, along with her doctors and her social worker in a nearby clinic, will identify how she will go about reconstructing a successful, functional life. She’s done it before, and with proper treatment and support, she can do it again.