But that perception is far from correct according to Kevin McCready, executive director of the R.E.A.Ch. program.
"I think a lot of people have the wrong message," said McCready
"They think that people with mental problems, which is an term I do not like, are different, damage, diseased, inferior and dangerous, and they are not."
McCready founded R.E.A.Ch. which stands for Recovery for Emotionally Abused Children, six months ago (this is an old article) to help children and adults who have suffered from abuse get back into the mainstream of society.
is a non-profit, charitable foundation sponsored by San Joaquin Psychotherapy Center
, which is located Northeast Fresno in the Willow Professional Center
McCready, the clinical director at SJPC, said the program's philosophy is healing through human endeavor.
"What that means is that these people are suffering and their humanity has been violated," McCready
"We want to help them heal and help them regain their humanity.
"We do that by using the things that make us human.
And those things are community, play, arts, music....all the things you find in a community."
Those who go to R.E.A.Ch.
for help are from 5 years of age and older.
They come from all walks of society, and they have all been victims of some kind of abuse during their lives.
said statistics show that one out of three children will be victims of abuse by the time they reach their 18th birthday.
said the second leading cause of death in teen-agers is suicide, which usually stems from some type of abuse.
"There is an epidemic of abuse," he
"Lately I have been getting a lot of graffiti on it," McCready
"that can be obnoxious, but it's a more civilized expression and identity than some of the things we've had painted on the wall."
The quiet room is never locked, and staff members stay in the room with each person who is getting treatment.
"We don't want anyone to feel abandoned," McCready