Help Is At Hand for Mental Health Needs

By Stan Kapelewski

This month’s Humanitarian Award goes to the Mental Health Consumer Advocates of Rhode Island (MHCA)/Oasis, located at 1280 North Main Street in Providence.

MHCA/Oasis is a statewide organization that has been helping its clients since 1985. Its members know from experience that people who suffer from mental illness have much to offer in ways of time, talent, and enthusiasm.

The entire staff at Oasis wholeheartedly invites those who are eager to share their talents to become involved in the organization. It is open 365 days a year and it serves the public in many different ways, from serving daily lunches to conducting peer counseling sessions in a safe environment.

Tony Pierre, executive director, and Geri Lebeau, associate director and shelter manager, are responsible for running a productive six-month shelter program for 10 men and 10 women. It has been in operation for two years and has helped many people get on their feet again.

Pierre said, “I had worked at the Welcome Arnold Shelter for two years and met a lot of people who dealt with the homeless, and I find that the key problem is the communications with the clients. The more you talk to them about their situation, the better you can try to fix it.”

Lebeau said, “There’s never a dull moment. Dealing with people and their problems can at times be challenging but so worthwhile.”

Testimonials:
“They help me get involved with people with the same interests that I have.”
– Susan Lavoie
“Being here has made me a better person by learning the outskirts of my illness.”
– Will
“I joined Oasis for the atmosphere; and it’s clean, with a loving environment.”
– Joseph Lassiter
“They help me with my depression, and keep my mind busy.”      
– Mildred

To contact the staff at Oasis, call 401-831-6937.

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