I had a situation with depression for three years and saw how I needed help. After I recovered, I realized that people who are struggling with mental illness needed help in support groups so they didn’t feel all alone out there.

For the last 19 years, I’ve been a facilitator for NAMI Wake – National Alliance on Mental Illness for people with mental illness, and also with family support for people with mental illness.

When I first started, I thought medication would take care of it—that once you started medication and therapy, you were gonna be well. But it’s not that easy.

I saw that medications weren’t sophisticated enough or helping people well enough, that people were suffering from side effects; they weren’t recovering fast enough. I knew that there needed to be more research. But research costs money.

So I figured that by helping raise money, and by supporting the Foundation of Hope and these research grants, that was my way of helping to find some methods, or some of the cures, that would make all the difference in the world for people with mental illness.

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