Mental Health Resources
Even with many conversations taking place today about mental illness, as well as trauma-based challenges, there is still a stigma associated with these invisible challenges.
I have lived with depression and anxiety for most of my life. Shortly after turning 40, I had an emotional breakdown as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was also given a diagnosis of a mood disorder. In 2002, I entered an outpatient program in the trauma unit of a local psychiatric hospital. God used this experience to bring healing into my life as I begin a journey of hope and recovery.
After this intensive treatment, I continued in therapy for several years. Journaling was an important part of the recovery process. Eventually, these writings were used as inspiration for my first book, In This Corner: Battling Depression from Inside the Ring. This Christ-centered workbook is built on the analogy of a boxing match. The book not only serves as a reminder of my journey to victory, but I pray it can be used by others as a guide for recovery and source of encouragement.
In the spring of 2016, I learned about a certification program through the Missouri Department of Mental Health specifically for people who are living a recovery lifestyle. This was a calling I could not resist. Within six months, I completed the training and changed careers. It is a privilege and a blessing to work part time in the behavioral health field. As a peer specialist with an employment services department, I support the specialists who assist clients with finding and maintaining employment. I also serve as an advocate for the client from a peer perspective. Drawing from my experience, I encourage our clients to recognize there is hope for a fulfilling and productive life, even after being diagnosed with a mental illness.
There are an abundance of resources and hotlines available for recovery, awareness, and advocacy related to mental health. Watch for links to be added and updated regularly.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org/