Throughout school, kids called me
fat, ugly and stupid. I was excluded from lunch tables and harassed in the hallways.
I believed that I was worthless. One person even told me that I should kill myself. Who would care?
I never talked to anyone about it; not my teachers or my parents. After joining the Scouts, I was surrounded by people who genuinely cared about me. I learned how to speak up for myself.
The Scouts made me feel like I belonged. I gained many friends. By the time I left middle school, I stopped caring about what bullies said to me. Now, I have the confidence to serve as a role model for other girls.
It started when I became sick at work. My condition worsened until I was unable to work any longer. Unable to afford to live in my home, my kids and I were evicted. We were homeless. We lost everything. While struggling to find food & shelter, I became depressed, suicidal and worried about my survival. I was tired. Finally, I was referred to The Bassett Center February 2013. Once enrolled into the program, I received counseling and learned life skills & financial tools in order for my family to live independently.
But most of all, my kids and I had food and a place to rest until we were able to live on our own.
Now, I have a steady income. And I signed the lease to my new home June 2014.
In 1990, Chris was accepted to a university. He was on track to achieve his dreams.
Two years later, his life was derailed. With his questionable sense of reality, he was soon diagnosed with a mental illness. He felt isolated. Because of his illness, he could not be employed. He received treatment and weekly therapy sessions. Later, Chris received support from Mental Health America. Working with MHA, he learned ways to cope with his illness; through education and group discussions. His mental well-being and self-esteem improved drastically! Now, his therapy sessions are no longer weekly, but quarterly.
I am Chris.
Now, I’m a Certified Peer Support Specialist and serve as an Advocate & VP of the MHA Board. I am able to help others cope with their mental illnesses.