mental health advocate

Featured Advocate: Suny from Finding The Spark : The Journey Of Seeing Past Mental Illness 4/6

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delsparkSuny: The reason I am fighting stigma is a long one. I was diagnosed in 93 at 14. The stigma forced me to hide and seclude and miss out on a lot of years of healthy life. If I can help anyone not go through the struggle I have been through I will consider it a success. Far too many people are hiding and secluding because of unnecessary shame associated with mental illness. With a combined effort we can truly Stop the Stigma

Finding The Spark : The Journey Of Seeing Past Mental Illness

This a documentary showing how we can defeat mental illness and the stigmas associated with it.

This is a documentary dealing with the stigma associated with mental illness. Far too many people are suffering from something they are scared to talk about due to shame or pride. Needless suffering has to stop. forcing people to isolate more than their illness makes them needs to stop. This movie will open a pathway of communication about the struggles of finding health in a society that is not very helpful. Take part in the process of change and stop the stigma.

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Featured Advocate: Bobbie from It’s The Depression Talking TRIGGER WARNING 4/5

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delbobbBobbie: I became a mental health advocate and author (“It’s The Depression Talking: A Self-Help Memoir “) after spending two years in a horrendous bout of severe depression. I have been a sufferer since my early twenties. In my mid-forties I found myself detached, isolated, in tears constantly, and suicidal for the first time. What scares me the most is, my suicidal ideation didn’t even scare me. With the help of medication and a good doctor, I got better and wrote my book, started a blog, and a Facebook page for other sufferers.

Sometimes an inspirational quote on Facebook can change someone’s day. Reading a book about someone else’s struggle helps people to know they are not alone. I want uneducated people to hear what a REAL day in the life of someone who is severely depressed is like, so they can relate better to their loved ones who struggle

. I want to give other sufferers someone they can relate to, as well. I think I achieved that in my book by being brutally honest about depression. I just wanted to help lend a voice through my own experience.

It’s The Depression Talking SELF-HELP, DEPRESSION, MENTAL ILLNESS

“In my formative years I had social phobia and extreme separation anxiety from my parents. I had my first panic attack at fifteen years old, and was diagnosed with anxiety. Ultimately, in my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. 

I have quit numerous jobs, I have been on disability, I have isolated myself for months at a time–several times over the years. I have slept years away to escape my pain. I lost precious time with my children and family. I lost my life, up to this point, because of depression.”

Finally a book that does not sugarcoat the reality of depression. Learn how I slowly pulled myself out of a horrendous two year depression that had me bedridden, and suicidal for the first time.

Whether you are a sufferer, or you care for someone that is, my truth will change the way you relate to depression.

Book                                                  Blog

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Featured Advocate: Cindy from Recovery- the Journey that follows 3/26

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delembCindy: At an early age, I thought I could “save the world” and everyone in it. Elders tried to discourage me throughout my life saying “You can’t help everyone”. When I began my recovery, I was fortunate enough to have my husband by my side, but no other friends or family to be there for me in my time of need. That is when I decided to create my home online group My Journey, then later on my page Recovery- the Journey that follows. We all long for understanding, compassion, and respect. And sometimes this is easiest to find among others who share our situation or outlook. My calling was thrown into full mode in no time. I enjoy helping people, hearing their stories, helping them get down to the root of their addiction, giving them the resources they need, and listening to them vent or ask for support.

Recovery- the Journey that follows:  Addiction, recovery, mental and chronic illness, self mutilation, etc. We provide inspiration and the resources needed to cope/overcome your struggle ❤️

Group: My Journey is a place where men & women can comeand support each other through life’s difficulties. It is where we strive to build an online family. We all long for understanding, compassion, and respect. And sometimes it’s easiest to find this among others who share our situation or outlook. That’s where our support group comes in. There is nothing like sharing stories and experiences with others on the same path. *****We discuss addiction, recovery, depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, chronic illnesses, and self harm.

Our group is a tight-knit family, where we can be free and comfortable with one another, without feeling judged or criticized.
Feel free to post any question you may have for fellow members, or myself.

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Featured Advocate: Cindy from Beautiful Warrior Chicks 3/17

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delbeautCindy:  I am a mental health advocate because I grew up with a father that is a paranoid schizophrenic and I also have an uncle that was diagnosed the same. Growing up I didn’t know of advocacy or groups that could help families cope and adjust to the changes (of course we also didn’t have technology like we do now). I decided to learn more about mental health so I went to school and I have a bachelors in psychology but I also plan on returning and getting a degree in counseling with my focus being mental health once the baby is a little older. I want to help families that may be going through what I went through

Beautiful Warrior Chicks  Encouragement and support for those trying to cope with the rejection and hardship of having a family member that has a mental illness. Website

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Featured Advocate: Melissa from Life of Zoey – Living with Autism 2/24

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delzoeyMelissa: On September 11, 2014, I watched as my 22-month-old daughter was held down by five hospital staff and wrapped in two blankets like a burrito to have an EEG. She screamed and cried and tears fell down her face like she was being hurt. They kept saying, “This doesn’t hurt her.”

Obviously they didn’t get the memo– she’s autistic and sensory-sensitive. Just having someone touch her hurts her; clothes hurt her, putting socks, shoes and a coat on hurts her. They were hurting her.

As I died inside.

I called out to her, “Zoey, look at Mommy, I’m here… I’m here, I love you… you’re OK.”

She didn’t look for me or look at me once; she just stared out into the room and screamed and tears fell from her face.

If this wasn’t bad enough, the doctor who was on the floor that day then came running into the room and screamed, “Stop! This can’t happen today. We don’t have a crib.”

Any composure I may have had quickly vanished. I broke down, and I cried, and I said “No. I will not let you do this to my baby again. I am not leaving. I was promised a crib. Go find a crib, and if you can’t, then I will sleep on the floor and hold her bed to make sure she does not fall out… but I am not leaving.”

This all happened while they were attaching the flat metal discs to her head  — and they only had half of them on.

We had this procedure scheduled the day she was diagnosed, and I had a child advocate from the hospital in constant contact with me. I’d explained that Zoey needed a crib, and I was told we would have one.

So they finished the procedure, and they unwrapped her from the blankets that were used to restrain her, and she was able to sit up. I gave her some Fruit Loops, and I watched as she crunched away.

All I wanted to do was hold her. She wouldn’t let me.

A nice woman who visits the hospital with her dog every month stopped in our room and asked if my daughter would like a visit, and I said sure.

This is the moment when any amount of denial I had quickly vanished.

I watched as this beautiful yellow lab approached the bed, my daughter didn’t look up or even move. I watched as this big dog jumped up on my daughter’s hospital bed and start eating the cereal around her feet. Again, my daughter didn’t look up or even flinch. My 22-month-old nonverbal daughter was in her own little world; she was on sensory overload and traumatized, and this dog wasn’t going to pull her out and neither was a hug from her Mommy.

I swear, a little piece of me died that day. And I promised, never again. This is why I fight. This is why I advocate for autism awareness. I do it all for her.

Life of Zoey – Living with Autism

AUTISM EARLY INTERVENTION ADVOCATE and Mom…Diagnosed at 21 months with NonVerbal ASD, SPD, GDD. This page is a look at Zoey’s journey through EI

On August 8th, 2014 our youngest daughter, our baby was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Global Developmental Delay with having the communication skills of a 6 to 8 month old. Possible diagnosis of OCD as well. To say I was and still am crushed is an understatement. When you find out you’re going to be a Mom you have hopes and dreams for your child and you want them to be healthy and happy…never did I dream I would have a child who was nonverbal, who could not tell me or even point to what she wanted or needed, a child that found it painful to make eye contact, painful to give or get hugs and kisses, and a child that was in her own little world, finding comfort alone and not even looking up when calling out her name. You mourn for this child, you grieve, you and your family go through bouts of denial and acceptance many times, and you cry…All of it normal and okay…This is The Life of Zoey

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Featured Advocate: Claudia from Dual-Diagnosed Awareness 2/15

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delclauClaudia: I am advocate for the dual diagnosed because of the struggles I have had in getting my sister the treatment and care that she needs. Our journey began in August 2011, when our adoptive parents sent her to live with me very suddenly from Missouri after the Joplin tornado. We had lost our adoptive sister Marsha and our nephew Sebastian.

Christina was very unstable when she arrived. She was angry, still greiveing and could not understand why any of this had to happen. I had to fight to get her services in Indiana. For over 9 mos. I fought with the different departments to get her mentally stable and to get her the services she needed for her intellectual disability.

It took me calling the advocate in the governor’s office to get any where. She was 25 at the time and because we had been raised old fashioned Pentecostal( not going to doctors and such) we didn’t have the collateral they said they had to have and said at her age it probably wasn’t going to happen.

They wanted to know why, why no doctors? why no records? can’t you just get your adoption unsealed? After my call to the governors office she finally received placement and services. She did really well until she had to have major surgery in March of this past year. She didn’t come thru it well with a stay in ICU and due to her sleep apnea, they had to withhold most of her meds including her psychiatric and she became unstable once again. This time they refused to treat her blaming everything on behaviors related to her intellectual disability.

They forced the ER to keep her and refused to take her on the inpatient unit citing a “client conflict”. This time I had to call the governors office again who in turn referred me to DMHA. The program director took action and got Christina the help she needed. I am an advocate because no matter what an individual’s diagnosis are. They should be able to receive treatment without having to fight. They are just as deserving as the rest of us.

Dual-Diagnosed Awareness

Goal: To raise awareness for individuals, like my sister, who have a dual-diagnoses of an intellectual disability and mental illness. This page is intended to raise awareness for individuals who have intellectual disabilities who also struggle with mental illness diagnoses of various degrees.

This is a very prominent issue and one I carry close to my heart. My sister has a mild MR diagnosis but is also diagnosed with Borderline, IED, Mood Disorder NOS. She is a very smart, beautiful and loving young woman but has often times been refused services based on one diagnoses or another. Whether or not an individual has an intellectual disability or mental illness or a combination of both they should receive the same treatment as any other “normal” individual.

The events of the past year with her treatment but health and psychiatric have prompted me to speak out and up about the issue. I am aware of other families who have these very same troubles and my goal is to help them as well. I am in the process, along with a close friend of mine, of starting a NPO to raise awareness for this cause. There’s just not enough resources out there but if our voices can be heard by even just one and it continue to be shared then it helps. So this is our plan, our goal, our motto.

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Featured Advocate: Susan from Helping to Reduce the Incidence of Suicide 2/13

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delstSusan: I have been interested in preventing people from taking their life since I was very young having listened to a radio New Zealand program in the 1980’s about the impact on those left behind..

My path took me to study Psychology during which I became a single parent and now experience long term unemployment. During this time I became involved with an organisation providing crisis support which I was involved with for over two years. After this I volunteered (and still do) with Personality Disorders Awareness Network to help improve awareness of personality disorders.

My interest there is the need for professionals to greater recognise and understand the impact these disorders can have on others, for example partners and children. Late last year I set up my own page dedicated to suicide prevention, awareness and to provide online support.

Helping to Reduce the Incidence of Suicide:
This page is here to provide peer support around all factors which contribute to suicide not just mental illness. Please inbox or comment on a status if you would like a topic for support or discussion.The group is supportive and experienced and will not judge you.

The page is run by a professionally qualified person but advise that if you are in need of ongoing support to contact a general practitioner / family doctor who is best to advise you on treatment.
There are links to crisis supports and charities posted at regular intervals for specialist support.
Mission Statement
Our overall aim is to contribute to the global suicide prevention effort. The strategy that we will employ to do this is three fold
a) By facilitating peer support.
b) By facilitating discussions on and around suicide, providing information and resources at a level all can take from.
c) Conducting outreach work and training with healthcare professionals, within schools, the criminal justice system and social services. Engaging with the wider community to ensure the continuous learning and the development of initiatives to help reduce the incidence of death by suicide.

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Featured Advocate: Anonymous from The Misadventures of a Bipolar 20-Something 2/12

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delcraig2Anonymous: think I’m an advocate because of the memes I make in support of mental health

The Misadventures of a Bipolar 20-Something Crazy talks, normal balksI share my poems, memes and otherwise disordered remnants* left behind while living with a mood disorder. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do 🙂

*Content pertains to mental health, drugs, sex, and other mature themes that are not meant to be viewed by people who would be offended.

I love having an outlet for my mental health related stuff.  If I shared this stuff with my real life people they would quickly tire of all of it. Thank you for your love and attention, however fleeting it may be 😀

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Featured Advocate: Julie from Voices 2/11

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delvoicesJulie: I am an advocate because it is what has to be done. I have mental illness, I have family with mental illness . I also worked for Crisis Services including answering the suicide hotline. In our community Decatur Morgan County it is next to impossible to get treatment in a timely manner and with out insurance or stacks of money you go without completely. I am resolved to change this for the better. I am determined to be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

Voices All people need access to affordable timely mental healthcare in Decatur Alabama and surrounding area. Together we can fix this problem.

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Featured Advocate: Autumn from Raising Awareness for Dissociative Identity Disorder and DID Support 2/10

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deldidAutumn:  I’m an advocate because I am an alter of someone with DID. I’m trying to raise awareness for Dissociative Identity Disorder and get people to understand it’s a real disorder and not what is shown so much on TV and movies.

Raising Awareness for Dissociative Identity Disorder:  Raising awareness to show people who have DID (or any other mental illness) that they aren’t alone, nor are their loved ones. ♥ Dissociative Identity Disorder is a mental illness characterised by the presence of two or more separate entities living inside one body that recurrently take control of the person’s behaviour, feelings and actions. Despite various research studies and the fact that DID is listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder), there are many psychiatrists and mental health professionals who still do not believe in the diagnosis. Speaking from experience, the illness is REAL.

On average, many people spend 7 years in the mental health system before being correctly diagnosed with DID, often having various misdiagnoses beforehand, e.g. schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, mood disorders, PTSD and eating disorders. To make things even more complicated, people with DID often have several diagnosable co-morbid conditions and can also have dual diagnosis (mental illness/illnesses combined with a drug/alcohol problem).

People with DID have often been through various treatment programmes, tried various medications, and spent many occasions being admitted to various psychiatric hospitals making little to no actual progress. We want to raise awareness of this disorder and to campaign to get this disorder recognised more widely within the mental health system so that people can get the treatment needed.

DID is not curable, but it is manageable and can be treated; with long-term therapy and medication to target specific symptoms.

Our mission is to campaign to make this disorder more widely known and to make psychiatrists accept that the diagnosis is a severe and sometimes debilitating mental illness and needs to be treated, just like any other mental illness. We also want to help those with other mental illnesses, as most are often comorbid with DID such as PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders etc. You’re not alone. We’re fighting the stigma. We can change the world, one footstep at a time.  Blog

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DID Support For multiples, by multiples.