What is the story related to mental health, suicide, and/or resilience that you’d like to share?   

When I moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, I had just graduated college. I was moving to be with my soon-to-be husband, who is an excellent support for me. Leaving college, I felt my community disband, which I had been in constant contact with for the last 5 years. I deeply missed my friends and felt lonely moving to a new place where I knew just one person. I had a lot of difficult days, grieving the loss of the closeness I had felt with the ones I loved. Even though all I wanted was a friend group, I found myself isolating at our apartment and not wanting to go out in the community. 

 

What resources have helped you to address this challenge?  

My husband was a great source of comfort, as well as remaining in contact with my friends virtually. I enjoyed doing yoga throughout college, and explored the various studios in Rapid City before landing on The Yoga Studio. I found great joy in the classes as well as the community-based events, and found new people to build spend time with. The Yoga Studio provided solace during a time I felt so lonely. 

 

Based on your experience, how can we work to build resilience in ourselves, our loved ones, and in our communities to better face life’s challenges? 

To build resilience at a population level, it is important to have spaces where people can connect and belong. These allow people to find common ground and build relationships with those who have similar interests. Addressing mental wellness at a population level benefits everyone. 

 

What is one thing related to mental health, suicide, or resilience that you wish everyone could understand? 

It is OK to not be OK. And it is important to remember mental health is just as serious as any physical issue.