I started the The Mental Health Update to give back.
I was tired of not being able to find authentic, helpful mental health content.
So I did something about it.
I'm a mental health advocate. My passion is mental health, and I feel compelled to talk about it. I tweet about mental health every day.
Because I've experienced extreme emotional pain, and I don't want others to feel the way I did.
First, it was my mom who experienced a mental health crisis. I had to step in to help, and I felt totally unprepared. My decisions led to extreme guilt even though it all worked out in the end.
Then, I experienced terrifying mental health challenges of my own. I needed to have a surprise heart surgery at 24 to repair a faulty aortic valve. To my surprise, it was the emotional recovery that was much worse than the physical one.
The surgery exacerbated anxiety and obsessive symptoms that I already had. It made them so much worse.
Again, I felt all alone and unprepared.
The pain caused by mental illness in my family and in myself ignited something that will never be extinguished.
Without the pain, I never would have started down the path that I'm meant to be on--a path of raising mental health awareness by sharing authentic, meaningful mental health information. I never would have become a social worker. I got my degree at VCU in Richmond, VA.
Sharing my story, first by participating in programs provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, helped me find my purpose. I later taught the course I took to give back to others. That course expanded to a new family mental health support group for the community.
As I found my voice, I began to write online.
I originally started writing about mental health on nerve10.com, and that experience showed me how badly people crave accessible mental health stories.
The Mental Health Update is the next iteration in my journey.
It's time to reach more people with accessible mental health content.