• One in four families is impacted by mental illness
  • One in four of all adults will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives

MHA's mental health awareness campaign-kickoff featuring the ONE IN FOUR photo exhibit was held on the tenth anniversary of the Joey A. Seaman Memorial Mental Health Library, in the summer of 2015.

The ONE IN FOUR photo exhibit includes photos of local residents who acknowledge their personal connection to mental health challenges. Each person photographed has either experienced a mental health challenge, has a family member who has experienced a mental health challenge, or knows of a family who has been impacted by mental illness.

We invite your to share your own ONE IN FOUR story. Through sharing, reading, talking and listening about mental health issues we will all gain a greater understanding of mental health and lessen the discrimination against individuals experiencing mental health challenges.

SHARE YOUR STORY VIEW THE GALLERY

Bernie's Story Of Joey


I never thought mental illness would affect me or my family. Actually, I never gave it a second thought. I had a wonderful husband and four beautiful children, and I loved being a wife and mother. But mental illness doesn't discriminate nor care what your life circumstances are. And it sure has a way of grabbing your attention and making you realize that it's an illness that needs to be treated as does a physical illness.

When our oldest son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder with slight depression at age 20, I was excited that we finally had some answers to questions about his lack of interest and focus on his college studies. I was convinced if he took his medications and kept his appointments with his therapist, all would be well. I soon learned that so many like him are afraid of the stigma attached to struggling with a mental illness. Too many people view mental illness as it has many times been so wrongly portrayed in the media. Having to take medications embarrassed him in front of his friends. So like many, he stopped taking them and self-medicated with alcohol and drugs.

Joey’s life spiraled out of control until he lost all hope... of succeeding in life, of maintaining his friends, of making his family proud of him. He ended his life at the age of 23, devastating all who loved him. That was 12 1/2 years ago, and though the scars of his loss remain, I am convinced that we are making progress, though sometimes too slowly, in recognizing that it is just as important to take care of our mental health as it is to take care of our physical health. The stigma must be erased and replaced by caring for one's overall health... both physical and mental.

YOUR STORIES


I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type II along with Anxiety Disorder with Agoraphobia in December, 2004, after a serious suicide attempt that put me into a coma for t...

Trying to come to terms with being gay has been an intense journey spanning several decades.  While being gay is not a mental illness, the depression that came as a result of my attempting to live a life outside of whom...

Stopping the Shame of Depression

My first childhood memory is the family dog dying. I was about 3, standing by my mothers leg as my brother pulled the dog out the back door on a rug. My mother died when I was 15. My father had a s...

READ MORE STORIES

ONE IN FOUR LOCATIONS


Mental Health America
914 South St. Lafayette

SHARE YOUR STORY


Please tell us your ONE IN FOUR story.

Only your first name, the first initial of your last name, and your story will be publicly viewable. Your email address is collected to notify you about changes made to the status of your story. Your email address is not used for any other purpose. We make no attempt to verify the accuracy of your story. Stories are approved by human reviewers. Your story will appear on the first business day after it is submitted.