Program helps adults battling mental health issues go back to school

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This week was graduation day for some adults taking part in a very special program, preparing them to head back into the classroom. The course is for adults who struggle with mental health issues.

Nicole, for example, is a hard-working single parent hoping for a better life for her six children.

"I push education in my family, all my children in my household," she said. "There's no excuse for failure. Regardless to any of the issues we're dealing with."

She struggles with mental illness yet wanted to further her education and attend college. Then she heard about the Supported Education Program at Wayne State University and U of M Dearborn.

"I've ways wanted to go back to school," she said. "I've been out for maybe the last eight years. And when I found out about this program I said maybe this is for me."

The program director Daniel Klinkert says the classes are tailored to each student's unique challenges, offering new opportunity for people of any age and any struggle.

"We have our own specialized 20 module curriculum," said Klinkert, Michigan Electronic Supported Education Program. "It's very time-consuming and challenging to get through."

This is a free six-month program with campuses all over metro Detroit, and now you can even complete courses online.

This week 17 new graduates completed the Supported Education coursework and now have a new hope for college.

"They have put a tremendous amount of work into getting academically prepared to enter college," said Klinkert.

"All my goals I've let go of through the years and put to the wayside, they're so much more real," Nicole said.

Nicole hopes to go to college for business administration.

"There were many days when my transportation was failing me, that I was barely waking up to function that day," she said. "That even though I sat in the class sometimes I feel like, 'Boy, am I really going to finish this? Is this really going to matter?' I'm glad I did it. I'm glad the program was here for us."

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Supported Education is a GED course, when it is, in fact, a college prep course.