By Ed Buchanan, LMFT

Melissa Dempsey is a Pacheco court resident and has been connected to BOSS for nine years. She’s the proud mother of five children. Melissa has faced and overcome many challenges in her life such as homelessness, various substance use addictions and domestic violence, through her resiliency, tenacity, steadfastness and resourcefulness. She continues to demonstrate a passion and desire to increase her self-efficacy, to improve her mental health and reach her goals in life by consistently self-reflecting, self-examining, and working on areas within herself that she feels she needs to improve in. Melissa consistently attends the mental health treatment services that she’s connected to, both inter-agency and outpatient services to work on her own wellness.

Melissa values treatment and says that through treatment she’s learned valuable tools to deal with difficult and stressful situations, and to deal with her own mental health struggles. Despite these challenges, Melissa has been working on and making progress to rise above them and refuses to be defeated by them. In fact, Melissa recently became a peer mentor for some of the outpatient groups that she attends or groups outside of BOSS. This is evidence that she not only has leadership skills but that she’s actively developing them. Melissa also aspires to go back to college and obtain a degree.

Melissa has a history of being involved in a domestic violence or intimate partner violence relationship in which her former intimate partner was the abuser. She demonstrated courage and strength to get out of the relationship and is now in a healthy and mutually supportive and caring relationship with her partner, whom she claims is invaluable to her support system. Melissa helped one of her friends end a very volatile and domestic violence relationship she was in as well.

To conclude, Melissa is the prime example of how one can overcome tremendous odds, or odds that seem insurmountable, and have a successful life through passion, drive, resourcefulness, determination and commitment to change. Melissa shows us that by accessing vital and available resources, and wanting to be as healthy as possible, it’s possible to be on the upward trajectory of wellness!