A legal services professional and one-time actor, Peter Saati’s calm and compassion always put his clients’ minds at ease.

With the help of Lowell CHC’s Behavioral Health team, he was finally able to find his own peace of mind.

Several years ago, Peter was struggling. He didn’t have the words to describe it yet, but years of untreated depression and anxiety were wreaking havoc on his life. “I was not in a good place,” he shares. “I really needed support.”

For that, he turned to Lowell Community Health Center.

A long-time Lowell resident, Peter had worked at the International Institute of New England, providing citizenship services to recent immigrants and refugees. Many of his clients were patients of the Health Center. Becoming one himself just made sense.

“I feel lucky that Lowell Community Health Center was there for me. I am so grateful.”

Peter quickly connected with his provider, who listened to his concerns and helped him take advantage of Lowell CHC’s Behavioral Health Services. Things really clicked when he started meeting with Holly, one of the Health Center’s Behavioral Health clinicians.

“Holly is wonderful. She’s just terrific at what she does. She has become the case manager of all my health care needs.”

In addition to forming a deep trust with Holly and finding a safe space to work through past trauma, Peter developed the confidence to take charge of his own health and wellness. It was key to his transformation.

As Holly explains, “I can only be with patients 45 minutes a week. The rest, they’re on their own. I really want them to take ownership of the work they’re doing.”

As Peter confirms, “Holly has given me so many tools that I carry with me in my day to day life. It’s really helped me through difficult moments.”

Peter, like so many other patients, was grateful for his health care to continue through the fear, insecurity, and isolation of COVID-19 with a new lifeline: Telehealth.

“I can still hear Holly’s smile over the phone. It’s a different kind of experience. But, in some ways, it’s made me freer in how I open up.”

With Holly only a phone call away, Peter has continued his progress, using the time he usually would have spent commuting to take care of himself — exercising, cooking healthier meals, even meditating.

“In another version of myself, I would not have been able to take advantage of this new time. When you’re depressed, it’s hard to see the gifts.”

One gift he’s particularly appreciative of is Lowell CHC, and his connection with Holly and his entire care team.

“My outlook has changed 180 degrees. I’m so grateful to the Health Center. It’s a wonderful, wonderful, place.”

Looking back, he only wishes he had made the call sooner.

“To anyone struggling with mental health concerns, there is hope. And there is help available. Don’t wait another day to pick-up the phone. It can change your life.”