My name is Rick Bertetto and I am a resident of the Fort Lyon Supportive Resident Community. I have battled both mental illness and drug addiction for most of my life. Depending on which period of my life you are talking about. The progression and reduction of both have wavered up & down.
I put myself in treatment in 1987 for cocaine addiction, but never really addressed the mental health issues. I’ve had many times of my life in which I didn’t drink or drug for long periods of time (sometimes up to a year) but always fell back in.
Recently the last 2-3 years were the worst years of my life. Due to the unsustainability of homelessness and I suffered greatly with my mental health. I spent two straight years chronically depressed finding no reason to live. I ended up in a psych hospital 5 times with 3 suicide attempts and multiple ER visits. Surprisingly, I didn’t use much alcohol or drugs through my depression. I had made multiple attempts using alcohol and prescription drugs to try and take my life.
Coming out of the psych hospital the third time, my Case Manager at Mind Springs Aspen, Sara McNamara, had mentioned the possibility of looking into a program in Southeast CO called Fort Lyon.
She briefed me on the program and gave me some time to think about it. I had always mentioned to the people (various mental health providers) that I needed a place to go that I could recuperate for a longer duration of time. A 6-10 day stay at the psych hospital was great but I needed more time to heal. Sara helped me apply to Fort Lyon and I arrived on November 5, 2017. Fort Lyon was the perfect fit for me in so many ways. A place where I could regroup and rest. I felt so good after 5 ½ months that I planned a return home to aspen to try to restart my life. I left feeling great, but crashed almost immediately only staying sober for 30 days and sleeping in 20 degree weather. I was hospitalized for another suicide attempt and afterward requested to go back to Fort Lyon.
I’ve been back now for 10 ½ months, and I have made the most of it. I look differently at this program the second time around. I’m more grateful to have had a second chance restoring my sanity. I am trying to use all of the resources given to me. I want to prepare myself for when I enter the workforce again. This is honestly the best I have felt in over 3 years. I am exercising again, going to meetings, reading, listening to music and I have found my faith in God again. I am looking at going back to school to become a Health Navigator. I want to give back and help my fellow homeless friends with navigating life. I am also looking into becoming a peer specialist.
Just making the best of my life that is left at fort Lyon and I am so grateful, so very grateful. I would have to say sincerely that Fort Lyon perhaps literally saved my life.
My name is Jason K. Holt. I was born in Southern California and came to Colorado 17 years ago. I have been in the addiction treatment field for 13 years. I am the Lead Case Manager at CCH Fort Lyon. I am a Certified Addiction Specialist II and have a National Certification.
I have a special interest in Recovery Maintenance due to working with our residents for an extended period. It is truly amazing to watch the transformation of our residents in two years. I facilitate a peer recovery support group called Recovery Maintenance. I also help facilitate a recovery support documentary group on Saturdays. The Recovery Maintenance group discusses topics such as Post-Acute Withdrawal, Adverse Childhood Experiences and maintaining a healthy lifestyle utilizing a holistic approach to recovery and sobriety. The Saturday group watches documentaries on DVD about addiction and recovery issues. The group primarily discusses the topics amongst themselves.
I started my career at a traditional 30-day treatment facility beginning with detoxification. I had the opportunity to come to CCH Fort Lyon when we first opened the doors almost 7 years ago. I have been blessed to be able to help and understand our residents through our common experiences and personal issues. I am also very grateful to work with the amazing and diverse team here at the Fort.