TIP Program hosts graduation for people battling mental illness

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — It all started with a simple ask for help.

“It’s been a long road but I actually did it” said graduate Krysten Lotta.

A long road filled with ups and downs- and guidance on the side.

Five people graduated from Therapeutic Intervention Program or TIP court.

It’s a program for people who’ve had trouble with the law. It uses specialized problem solving to help them improve their mental health.

One graduate is Krysten Lotta, a former heroin addict who asked for help after almost losing her life.

“I actually OD’d and they had to revive me and that’s when i finally decided I was done and that was two years ago” said  Lotta.

In those two years, Lotta worked with people like Judge Janet Holmgren, finding ways to cope with her mental health issues.

“As a team, we discuss what an appropriate response to behavior might be with the idea of shaping behavior moving it in a direction of being productive, and being healthy.” said Holmgren.

Part of changing those behaviors is giving resources to people who may have not had them before.

” I think it would help a lot for people like myself who never had any form of mental health and it started to open up doors to a path of my life i never would have opened if i didn’t reach out” said graduate Russel Smith.

After reaching out for herself, Lotta is now inspired to reach out to others, as she starts her new journey to becoming substance abuse counselor.

“It makes me feel like I need to help someone. If i help one person, this will all be worth it” said Lotta.

Since 2005, 165 people have graduated from the program.

Lauren Baker

Lauren Baker

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