What is the story related to mental health, suicide, and/or resilience that you’d like to share?
I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since I was in elementary school. I didn’t know that’s what I was dealing with until I went to a therapist in my late 20s. I attempted suicide when I was 18 and used to cut my hands. I contemplated suicide again in 2021. My friend told me I needed to go to Avera Behavioral Health right away. I ended up spending a week at the facility.
Since then I have had a therapist and psychologist who help me with my mental health. I also open up to my family, friends, and co-workers more when my depression or anxiety is starting to get bad.
I feel like my story can resonate with people who are dealing with mental health problems, but don’t feel like they can open up to anyone about it. I can also show that you can live with these disorders and manage them to lead a healthier and happier life.
What resources have helped you to address this challenge?
Avera Behavioral Health, therapists, psychologists, medications
Think about the system that affects our mental health in our society, including aspects that are damaging to mental health and aspects of the system that improve mental health. Based on your experience, how might we improve that system to build resilience and better address the mental health needs of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities?
There needs to be more education in schools and the community to tell people that it’s OK to not be OK, and also to teach family and friends how to speak with someone who has a mental illness. There also needs to be more affordable and easily accessible ways to talk with a therapist or psychologist.
What is one thing related to mental health, suicide, or resilience that you wish everyone could understand?
Don’t tell people that everything will be alright or that other people have it worse. Listen to the person who is struggling and offer them support and comfort.