reclaiming lives issue13

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Centerstone's Success Stories. Featuring: All the Puzzle Pieces, Meet Bobby Bailey


  • New Integrated Care Program | Combating Bipolar Disorder | Little Eyes, Scary Images

    All the Puzzle Pieces

    MeetBobby Bailey


    i s s u e t h i r t e e n | c e n t e r s t o n e . o r g

  • Scan these Quick Response codes to link directly with Centerstone.

    cover Feature 3 All the Puzzle Pieces: Meet Bobby Bailey

    health and Wellness 7 Little Eyes, Scary Images

    8 Physician Spotlight

    9 Combating Bipolar Disorder

    10 Philanthropy in Action

    12 News and Notes

    Features 15 New Integrated Care Program

    16 Centerstone Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Outpatient Facility

    2 12


  • Editor in Chief Robert N. Vero, EdD

    Managing Editor Mindy Tobin

    Contributing Editors Freya Potempa Karen H. Rhea, MD Natalie Stone Gwen Watts

    Contributing Writers Susan Gillpatrick Jillian Neal Mindy Tobin Jenn Wade Anne Kelley

    Graphic Design Michael Rivera

    Centerstone of Tennessee Board of Directors

    Janet Ayers, ChairMark Faulkner, Vice Chair

    Dr. Carmen Reagan, SecretaryLee Ann Ingram, Immediate Past Chair

    Dr. Richard BaxterBrenda CorbinKelly Crockett

    Father Fred DettwillerVincent W. Durnan, Jr.

    R. Parker GriffithChrista N. HollemanLavinia Johnston

    Orville KronkAlbert Menefee III

    Dana OmanSteve SalibaJoan Sivley

    Sperry Bell StadlerJim Sweeten

    Commissioner Deborah Taylor TateDr. Robert N. Vero, CEO

    From the Editor in ChiefWelcome to our newly redesigned Reclaiming Lives magazine.

    For years, Centerstone has been publishing this magazine to share the latest news from our organization and to engage, inform and inspire our readers.

    Now we have a new look. We have redesigned our pages and refreshed the style and headline, but one thing we have not changed is our cover stories. For these, we are so grateful to have the partnership of the true stars of this magazine, our clients. With honesty and thoughtfulness, they share their personal tales of recovery. They truly illustrate what it means to have a life reclaimed from mental illness or addiction and we are indebted for this gift.

    This issue we feature Bobby Bailey. A man so filled with infectious spirit, he inspires nearly everyone he meets in particular our staff members who work directly with him. His bravery and tenaciousness can teach us all something about holding on to hope and optimism.

    I am proud to present the new Reclaiming Lives to you, our partners, donors and friends, and thank you for your ongoing support of our efforts to prevent and cure mental illness and addiction.

    Robert N. Vero, EdD

    About CenterstoneCenterstone, a not-for-profit organization, has provided a wide range of mental health and addiction services to people of all ages for more than 55 years. Through more than 50 facilities and 160 partnership locations across Middle tennessee, Centerstone serves nearly 50,000 children, adolescents, adults and seniors each year. Centerstone is accredited by CArF International and a member organization of the national Football Leagues nFL Life Line.

    For more information about Centerstone,please call 888-291-4357 or visit


    I S S u E T H I R T E E N

  • coVer Feature

    2 issue thirteen

  • If you live in Tullahoma, Tenn., you probably know Bobby Bailey. You may not realize it, but odds are that youve seen him around town.

    You may have seen him mowing the grass over at the local Red Cross something hes been doing for 17 years, free of charge, because he loves to help people who have helped him. You may have seen him visiting friends, and even strangers, at the nursing home in town because he enjoys the company of the residents as much as they enjoy his. Or you may have just seen him riding around town on his bicycle with a feather in his hat, waving at every passerby with gusto because thats how Bobby Bailey does life enthusiastically and with gratitude for every day that he is given.

    I feel like its my job to take care of people, because so many people have taken care of me through the years, says Bobby. Thats just the way I was raised and what people ought to do, if you ask me.

    What you may not know about the delightful, free-spirited and friendly Bobby Bailey is that his outlook on life hasnt always been so positive. He is diagnosed with severe mental illness, particularly, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type. For years, his disease kept him from being stable and successful. He says there were times he felt he had nowhere to turn for help that is, until he found Centerstone.

    But in order to appreciate Bobbys health and happiness today, hell insist that you understand just how long his road to recovery has been, and the many people who walked alongside him during the journey.

    continues on page 4

    Meet Bobby Bailey

    S 3

  • When bobby first came to Centerstone in 1989, he was 28-years-old. He and his girlfriend were expecting a child, and he was elated. However, the baby suddenly and tragically died, and it was this devastating event that sent bobby into what he calls a breakdown.

    I took everything I owned and put it in a van and set it on fire, bobby says as he shakes his head, recalling the vivid memory. I felt so guilty about losing that baby like it was somehow my fault. I just couldnt handle it.

    of course, while this is a tragedy that could bring anyone to their knees, it wasnt solely this event that sent bobby over the edge, as he says. He had been living with an underlying mental illness for some time, and it was just coming to the surface. He remembers how he felt his family was always trying to get him to be someone he didnt feel like he could be. I just wanted to be bobby thats all, he says. but it was a struggle, and I didnt know why.

    While bobby was on his knees that day, kneeling next to the burning van and watching his belongings go up in flames, he felt helpless and cried out for help to God or anyone that would listen. soon, the police picked him up and help came in the form of Centerstone, where he was eventually taken and officially diagnosed. He was beginning to get some answers and started receiving treatment for his schizoaffective Disorder.

    Case Management Services the Day-to-Day Hero

    Although each piece is integral, bobby will tell you that perhaps the most important part of his ongoing treatment is his Community support specialist, rhonda Felts. Through Centerstones Case Management services, rhonda helps bobby maintain permanent housing, pay his bills, navigate other systems, like when he recently registered to vote, and file paperwork with the Irs. she even regularly drives him to and from his doctor appointments.

    When I first met bobby, he didnt trust anyone, said rhonda. He had two rocking chairs on his front porch and thats where wed meet because he wouldnt let me in his apartment. When it got cold, wed sit in my car with the heater running and have our meetings.


  • After many months of working to earn his trust, rhonda finally got permission from bobby to go inside his apartment. It proved to be a day shed never forget.

    I couldnt believe he lived there, she said. There were exposed wires, a hole in the floor and neither the toilet nor the sink had worked for months. It was so dirty and honestly, uninhabitable. I told him that unfortunately, and for everyones safety, I had to call someone. The city condemned it without a second thought and gave bobby a deadline to move out.

    The day before he was supposed to vacate the property on his 50th birthday the apartment caught on fire, and he narrowly escaped. The only thing he was able to save were the two rocking chairs off the front porch the ones that he and rhonda would sit in during their weekly case management appointments.

    It was so sad, says bobby. I was starting to do so much better, but in the blink of an eye, I lost everything again. I had to go to a homeless shelter, which I hated. Im so independent and like my space. because of my illness, I have a hard time trusting, and I didnt like all those people around me.

    Thankfully, though, since bobby had come to Centerstone and enrolled with Case Management services, rhonda was able to help make his stay in the shelter short-lived. she quickly went to work to find bobby an apartment. she worked with the red Cross - who knew bobby very well, thanks to his service to them over the years - and they donated dishes and clothes. Centerstone was closing an office location and donated the surplus furniture to bobby for his new apartment.

    continues on page 6

    i just wanted to be Bobby thats

    all. But it was a struggle, and i

    didnt know why.

    Bobby Bailey with rhonda Felts, centerstone community support specialist, who has seen Bobby through many difficult times.


  • bobby admits that these steps toward rebuilding might have overwhelmed him and been too daunting to tackle on his own if it werent for Centerstone and rhonda.

    Centerstone is my family, says bobby, sitting next to rhonda in his new, safe apartment. I couldnt have done it without them. every part of my treatment has been important and has, honestly, saved my life. I wrote my will recently and put Centerstone in it. Im leaving everything I have to them, no matter how much or how little I have. I want them to just use whatever it is to keep helping other people like theyve helped me.

    centerstone is my family. i couldnt have done it

    without them.

    Whole Again