Angela Buisman is a mental health practitioner who works out of Rise’s office in St. Cloud, assisting people with ARMHS (Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services). Most of the people she supports are experiencing increased mental health symptoms that are compounded by the difficulties during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Here are three people whom Angela supports.
“Everyone is scared right now,” said Cheyenne, a soft-spoken, compassionate man who has survived tremendous trauma and overcome adversity. “But these guys [from Rise] prepare people and keep them moving forward, reassuring them that things will be okay. They are helping everyone get through this. Mental health is important. I can’t lose ARMHS — it is my main foundation right now!”
Rise started working with Cheyenne about three years ago, and Angela has been his ARMHS practitioner for about 10 months and in that time, has been impressed with his drive to turn his physical and mental health around.
“We are working to build his basic living skills and manage his mental health symptoms that will allow for him to live his life as happily and independently as possible,” Angela explained.
With consistent support from Angela, Cheyenne said he is able “to do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. I feel supported and cared about. Angela keeps me focused on my goals and sees to it that I go to my doctor and take care of myself. She actually cares.”
Cheyenne currently lives in an adult foster group home and is hoping to move out to live independently within the next year. He enjoys spending time with his best friend, is learning to play the bass guitar, and practices meditation.
Angela has been supporting a single mother of two daughters, coincidently named Angela, with ARMHS services for the past eight months. Together they address her mental health symptom management in regard to self-care and self-advocacy. They are also working on housing and employment issues, and are both pleased with the piece-by-piece progress she is making.
“Angela is a hard-working, empathetic, goal-oriented, and very smart woman,” said Buisman. “She’s an excellent mother who always puts the needs of her children ahead of her own.”“I think it’s nice to feel like I have someone to hold me accountable in a positive way,” said Angela, who is currently unemployed. “She’s understanding, but holds me to my word. It feels like I have a friend, like I’m talking to a good friend; we are able to relate well to one another. I actually look forward to her coming over and to her phone calls. Angela is a tremendous help to me and my family.”
Angela lives independently with her youngest daughter. She and Buisman are in the process of getting her moved to another location to be closer to family so she can have additional support.
“I like that she comes to me,” Angela added. “I think that’s important for a lot of people who don’t like leaving the house, so they can be in their comfortable setting. People will need mental health support now more than ever.”
Laura has been receiving ARMHS services from Rise for about two years. She lives independently with her daughter and genuinely cares for her friends and family.
A hard-working, smart, kind and caring woman who grew up on a farm with boarding stables, Laura has an outspoken personality. She says bluntly, “Mental health is important right now, the world is going insane.”
Angela assists Laura in many ways to manage her mental health symptoms and increase her independence. Recently, after weeks of studying online together, Laura was able to build up her confidence to take the test to get her driver’s license back. The two “went through the roof with excitement” when she passed.
“Especially during this challenging worldwide health crises, we are also working hard to help Laura manage her mood and reactions, isolation, and organization.”
“Angela is very caring and provides me with an outlet to help me release tensions and help me process through difficult things,” said Laura. “I really appreciate her support.”