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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Doug I choose to support The Foundation of Hope for two big reasons. Number one: my mother suffered from Bipolar Disorder her entire life. Secondly, I am inspired by the heart and soul of The Angus Barn who to me is Van Eure, Henk Schuitemaker and Jill Highsmith. Ashli and I are proud to be supporters of this great cause BACK TO STORIES Will You Join Us? Walk for treatment. Walk for life. Walk for Hope. Sign up to receive updates on our annual event, as well as the Foundation of Hope. Follow our stories and see your impact.
Amy Five years ago, during a “lull” in our long battle with my loved one’s mental illness, I discovered the Walk for Hope – an event I was vaguely aware of but had not considered participating in. This seemed to be a chance to step out of my silence and do something publicly, even if small, for the first time. I reached out to my community of friends and family and asked if anyone wanted to join me – and by walk day I had 20+ people walking alongside of me with our glitter-covered headbands. I really thought we were walking for my loved one, and while we were, I quickly realized we were also walking for them, their children, their parent, cousin, sibling, spouse or friend. My community all were touched by mental illness. [...]