11 05, 2021


Tina I spent 30 years in the Navy as a nurse caring for our Nation’s service men and women. When you’re in the military, you recognize early on the importance of your teammates - and no one wants to be the weak link. Caring for our wounded service members, many times in austere conditions, can be arduous and stressful.  America’s military healthcare professionals are always focused on saving lives and as a result, these caregivers fail to recognize their own needs to be cared for as well. As healthcare providers we’re trained to identify the signs of mental stress and illness; we just often ignore it in ourselves to help others. We know all too well the signs of PTSD: anger, not sleeping, self-medicating, marital or work problems, all of which when left untreated can [...]

11 12, 2020


Lissa I stood at the window, looking out on all the uniform buildings surrounding the grey building I am in. Everything looked so dull. I squeezed the bit of skin between my left thumb and pointer finger as hard as I could. I had googled that trick earlier, and Wikihow had informed me that doing this will keep you from crying. I could still hear my brother screaming. I could still feel the room move as he kicked the door. I stood quietly in the corner, wanting to disappear. As the tears streamed down my face, I realized that my thumb trick didn't work. Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings and mania. My older brother has a severe form of the disorder, suffering from delusions and dangerous psychosis. He has been hospitalized five times since I was 13 years old. [...]

16 11, 2020


John Our Manager of Information Security, Joel, previously worked at the Angus Barn and always spoke highly of his time there and the commitment to mental health awareness. Tragically, someone on Joel’s team (Bill – a rising star with tremendous promise and only 23 years old) took his own life due to mental health issues roughly 4 years ago in November 2016. As a company, we looked for the best way to honor Bill and memorialize him. We also wanted to promote mental health awareness in our own organization because it was such a surprise and blow to us all that Bill took his own life - none of us saw it coming. Joel suggested (and we all readily agreed) that we honor Bill by participating in the Walk for Hope and we immediately knew [...]

16 11, 2020


Ashley I grew up in a relatively average family. Through most of my school-aged years I considered myself pretty “normal.” But in my senior year of high school, I began to experience anxiety and depression. I isolated myself and just wanted to be left alone. It was difficult, but I thought that going off to college would resolve the issues and get me back on track Once I got to college my anxiety worsened. I had a panic attack my first week of classes. My family connected me with a psychiatrist who proceeded to prescribe me Xanax. I learned fairly quickly that if I had a feeling that I didn’t like, I could just numb it away. I also suffered an injury and quickly became dependent on the narcotics I was prescribed. While I tried [...]

11 09, 2020


Yvonne On June 6, 2018, my daughter – my hero, Michelle, affectionately known as Mickey – ended her life by suicide. She was an incredibly beautiful, courageous and determined woman who suffered daily with endless pain because of her psychological challenges. Over her lifetime, she was diligent in seeking and trying the right course of treatments. Coupled with her tenacious spirit and determination, Michelle worked to beat this insidious disease so she could live a life without the constant battle of psychological challenges that robbed her of that peace. In her final fight—and she fought hard every hour of every day— she was still seeking relief from the ravages of her illness, which resulted in her untimely death. Michelle was never afraid to speak up about her psychological challenges and encouraged those facing difficulties to [...]

11 09, 2020

Rob & Linda

Rob & Linda I am a Clinical Psychologist, now retired. I spent several years conducting clinical research, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) into psycho-educational interventions with children of divorce and of short stature. Before retirement, I spent over 30 years providing direct services in Raleigh. So, my professional experiences led me naturally to support the Foundation for a long time. Then, shortly after my retirement, my older son, Clark, was killed in a car accident. Shelley and Van opened their hearts to my family and me after Clark’s death. And we opened our hearts in return. The loss of a child is among the most significant one can experience in life. Compelled by our grief, my wife and I along with two friends, Jody and Tom, started an outreach ministry within [...]

11 09, 2020


Mary Mental illness is prevalent in my family, as it is in many. Since before I was born, my Dad battled schizophrenia. But the disease goes much deeper than just my father. His mother was involuntarily committed to a mental institution when she was in her thirties and he was only four-years-old. And his older brother lived in a state mental hospital from the time he was 20 until he died in his 80’s—over 60 years. While I was growing up, my dad was in and out of mental institutions. At first, I was too young to understand why my daddy would “go away” for months at a time. Then as a teenager, I was so embarrassed that I lied to my friends about where he was. At times I even lied to myself. It [...]

11 09, 2020


Lauren From infancy, my sons Jack and Gabe had both missed developmental milestones. I knew they needed special care – they had trouble rolling over, talking and socializing. Over and over the doctors ignored me and told me to "wait and see." But they weren't catching up, and I got tired of having my concerns dismissed when I knew something wasn't right. So I kept looking for someone who might be able to help, and I found Dr. Piven and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. It didn’t take long for us to get an answer: both boys were diagnosed with autism. The fear and anxiety I felt were coupled with relief and validation – we finally knew the truth, and had a plan for moving ahead. The most difficult part of the entire process [...]

11 09, 2020


Geetha My beloved daughter Priya was lost to suicide on January 10, 2016 during her 4th suicide attempt. Priya was a beautiful girl – a quiet, introverted, brilliant and dignified child, who excelled in whatever activity she participated in. The anxiety was always there but I never knew of it. She was bullied in school but hid it from me. When she was 15, she told me that she had OCD. My response was “you have too much time on your hands disorder.” At the time, I didn’t realize the seriousness of it. One day in early 2009, she told me she felt hopeless, so I took her to a psychiatrist who prescribed an antidepressant. But two weeks later Priya had her first overdose. She was taken to the emergency room and the doctor asked if [...]

11 09, 2020


Erika I’ve been involved with Walk for Hope since the very beginning. I used to push my daughter in a stroller during the walk and now that she is almost 20 years old, she walks along with me. I work in mental health at MindPath Care Centers and see the great need that exists to lower the stigma around mental healthcare and to help it be accessible to anyone who needs help navigating life’s challenges. It is my hope that no one ever feels as though they are isolated or alone and cannot reach out for help. The Angus Barn is a special place for me and my family for three generations now. The science of mental health needs your support. There is much still to learn about the brain and how we are wired [...]