By Holly Ramer
KEENE, N.H. — Back when he was a self-described friendless recluse, Craig Carey spent hours sitting in a chair doing nothing or driving around in his car, alone. Then a fitness program for people with serious mental illness turned his life around.
"The In SHAPE program gave me something to grab onto. I came out of my shell, I went to other programs … got a part time job," he said. "I started to say, `OK, my life is getting back together.’"
Carey, 47, of Keene, was diagnosed with manic depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder 15 years ago. In 2003, he became one of the first clients at Monadnock Family Services to join In SHAPE, a program so successful that the state has won a $10 million federal grant to replicate it at the rest of the state’s community mental health centers. The goal is to expand a program that now serves 150 people to 4,500 participants in the next five years.