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Reaching Out makes a difference in the lives of people with mental illness

Did you know that in any given year about 25 percent of adults in the US will experience a mental health disorder? That’s a lot of people who are struggling and that’s where Reach Out Foundation comes in.

Reach Out Foundation is Bucks County’s first and only drop-in mental health recovery center. They have been providing one-of-a-kind peer support since 1996.

Reach Out serves the community through peer-to-peer support groups, special events, and social activities. Their mission is to provide a safe and accepting environment for people with behavioral health and/or addiction disorders.

Programs are provided free of charge to everyone.

Reach Out welcomes adults of all ages and backgrounds. Consumers are offered education, peer support, and the opportunity to learn how to advocate for themselves.

Douglas Hicks, Executive Director, and Sandy Gallant, Program Coordinator, are committed to making consumers feel welcome and accepted.

“It’s like we are family,” said Sandy. “We are here for each other. It’s a place where everyone feels at home.”

Some of the peer support groups that Reach Out offers are:

  • Dual Diagnosis Group: for those living with both addiction and mental health disorders;
  • Anxiety Group: work toward recovery from anxiety disorders;
  • Beyond Recovery Group: imaginative expression through reading and writing;
  • Creative Groups: work on projects such as arts and crafts, fun and games, and music;
  • Women’s and Men’s Groups: addresses topics and issues relate to women and men.

The past several years Reach Out has done a lot of growing. About 18 months ago, a large passenger van was purchased to help people get to Reach Out.

They have also partnered with the Bucks County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to host a family support group and a LGBTQ support group at their site.

The more comfortable people are with reaching out and asking for help and support, the quicker they can get on the road to recovery.

Contact the Reach Out Foundation of Bucks County at 215-970-5462 or visit their website at www.rofbucks.org.

You can call anytime to schedule free van transportation.

Van pick-ups begin at 9:00am and returns begin at 4:00pm Monday through Thursday.

And if you’re looking for a way to give back to the community consider donating to the Reach Out Foundation, while participants aren’t charged a fee it does cost money to make the lights stay on and the staff is there to run groups.

PHOTO CAP: Douglas Hicks, Reach Out Executive Director and Sandy Gallant, Program Coordinator.