(aka) National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia & Depression
90 Park Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10016
If there is ever any doubt that recovery is possible, we can all be inspired by the story of Howard Trachtman. Howard was just 16 when he entered MIT to study artificial intelligence. Two years into the program, he had his first psychotic break. He explains, "In 1983 I was up all night at the laboratory. I decided I needed to flee and to see my parents… I was having strange thoughts, and was afraid to board the plane. My bizarre behavior was noticed, and the police brought me to a crisis center."
The next few years would find Howard in and out of various hospitals, struggling to find stability. Finding the right medication became the essential tool Howard needed to regain his life. He explains, "My recovery really took off when I started a new medication and discovered the mental health recovery movement. I was quickly mentored as a leader, learned about community organizing and developed skills in chairing meetings and support groups."
Howard is currently the co-executive director of the Metro Boston Recovery Learning Community and executive director of the NAMI Greater Boston Consumer Advocacy Network.
Howard believes the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation funds the science needed for cures: "As an artificial intelligence researcher I was interested in how the brain works. We have learned much, and I am hopeful that new research will lead to better treatments with fewer side effects.." Howard believes that science and support are the keys to recovery, and has a message for all who are affected by mental illness: "I believe that recovery is REAL and that people with mental illness can recover! We are people first and can and do deserve a good quality of life."