HOW WE ASSIST
In order to overcome the trauma of psychiatric illness and the discrimination associated with it, one needs to become empowered. To be empowered is to gain control over one's life and to build self-esteem and independence. This is done through making one's own decisions, having freedom of choice, and helping other people with the same kinds of difficulties. In this way, one participates in the recovery process and gains dignity and respect through accepting responsibility.
On Our Own of Prince George's County provides quality service. Our facilities offer a cozy home atmosphere for our members, and we offer the following benefits:
Provide a safe, friendly, and welcoming wellness and recovery center.
Serve a diverse peer population.
Provide a varied and strength-based programs, workshops, and activities.
Computer classes that are tailored and designed to accommodate those with challenges.
Promote self-advocacy by staying involved in our community.
Peer run, peer driven.
Involvement in the community.
On Our Own of Prince George's County benefits the community by helping those who live with behavioral health challenges. We provide the services and social networking they need through peer support. Everybody is an individual and is respected wherever they might be in their journey of Wellness and Recovery.
Our computer lab has 4 computers. This allows our members to acquire computer skills and access resources. Computer training is available upon request. Please RSVP by Wednesday of any given week to reserve your spot.
We intend to increase our membership through improved communications with our community (members, local businesses, individuals, and organizations) and enhanced awareness and outreach.
MEET THE DIRECTOR
Matthew Ratz, M.Ed., CPRS, RPS
This isn’t the easiest story for me to share…
For many, many years, I was the victim of intense, institutionalized bullying. I still don't know what serendipity empowered me to emerge from that dark space, but for the past decade, I have been fighting, day after day, on behalf of those for whom some else’s label is limiting their potential.
Whether it was students in an “on-level” class who were not expected to think for themselves, or disadvantaged students in one of the poorest schools in DC, to adolescents with special needs who were not receiving the required accommodations in their classrooms, I fought.
I moved on to fight on behalf of community college students who were being unfairly held back because they lacked the composition skills to advance out of zero-credit remedial courses. I continued to fight for adults with autism, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities who were denied access to community-based employment and leisure activities. I supported dozens of adults, many of whom had never accessed public
transportation, to use the community-based resources and explore their communities, enjoying restaurants and sports activities, and building confidence amid their non-disabled peers.
And now, I share my message with the peers I support at On Our Own and to our larger community in Prince George's County, Maryland. In addition to the programs we run, I speak to educators, advocates, and students themselves about the damaging act of labeling and the dangers of pernicious self-fulfilling prophecies. And I continue to fight on behalf of those whom others have “counted out.”
That is my calling.