“I didn’t have the tools to cope. My parents tried to help me, but I couldn’t think of any way for them to.”

Jordyn struggled with anxiety her entire life, but everything came crashing down on her in high school. She became extremely stressed and overwhelmed, with fear of failure and self-imposed pressure to do better. For several months, during her worst peak, she cried every night, constantly focused on everything going wrong, and endlessly envisioned scenarios of what else could go wrong in the future. Then COVID-19 entered the picture, isolating Jordyn from the outside world.

“It’s scary not knowing what’s going to happen next.”

Jordyn’s family knows all too well what can happen if someone doesn’t get the help they need. In 2015, their world was rocked when Jordyn’s cousin passed away due to suicide. The gravity of how it affected her entire family was lifechanging. So when Jordyn started spiraling downward, her parents recognized the critical need to find help. Unlike so many teens, Jordyn was lucky.

Initially, she was resistant to therapy due to the stigma. But after consistent trial and error with different therapists and medications, she finally found a working combination. She still worries about her friends, who struggle with mental issues and can’t get professional help because they lack emotional support from their families or don’t have financial resources.

As volunteers at the Walk each year, Jordyn and her family know it’s vital to fund research. Based on her experience, now she works to fight the stigma, and encourages her friends to seek help.

“If no one tries to understand what teenagers are going through or funds research for it, it will be very detrimental to our mental health and suicide rates would be even higher than they are now. Kids need to hear that there isn’t something wrong with them… you are not alone.”

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