When Susan Murphy, a Bert Nash peer support specialist, talks about her client, who chose to be identified by her initials KT, she couldn’t be prouder.
“The progress she has made, it makes it all worthwhile, to see the results, to see her happy,” Murphy said.
As a peer support specialist, Murphy provides support and shares her personal recovery story with others, like KT, who have a mental illness and are working on their own recovery.
KT has been a Bert Nash client for many years. She started using peer support services in 2017. She and Murphy meet weekly. The goal is for clients to become healthier, mentally as well as physically.
Since January 2018, KT, who turned 60 in March, has lost almost 50 pounds. It’s been a combination of things, she said, including a consistent exercise program, eating healthier and a change in her antidepressant medication. As a result, not only did she lose weight and feel better, she went from giving herself four insulin shots a day to none. She has type 2 diabetes. And she no longer needs to use a CPAP machine for sleeping.
KT started exercising again in 2018, not with the goal of losing weight but to help with her mood. She said she didn’t have the emotional energy to exercise in 2017, when she was hospitalized for depression.
To help KT make healthier decisions, Murphy loaned her cookbooks and she started cooking healthy meals for herself rather than buying prepared foods.
KT’s medical doctor has been impressed with her progress.
“My doctor has been so happy for me with my blood sugar results and everything,” KT said. “He said, ‘You’re my hero.’ That really meant a lot to me.”
Murphy shares the doctor’s pride in KT.
“She has made great strides, and she continues to make great strides,” Murphy said. “She’s working at not only being physically fit, but emotionally fit.”