The information & resources I now have access to have made all the difference in our family’s struggle.
My sister suffered from diagnosed depression, and anxiety as well as dealt with an eating disorder. She attempted suicide the summer of 2014 with an overdose and we lost her to suicide in October 2014 when she was 17 years old. My family was unfamiliar with the mental health field and struggled to find her help. From battling to find the right therapists to finding full time intensive programs, we found that there was a very steep learning curve in trying to get my sister help.
Looking back on the process now, there is so much information I would have liked to have been able to tell my family from the beginning that sadly we had to learn through trial and error. My parents are relatively well connected in the medical field, so I cannot imagine how impossible this journey is for people who don't have the contacts, connections, or drive to help their kids. Unfortunately, due to stigma, people are not willing to help others who are struggling with mental illness but it shouldn't be like that.
The goal of my website is to give people advice from the beginning so that the learning curve isn't so steep, as well as to provide them with the resources to obtain the right help for their loved one.
Another component of all this is that people forget how hard this process is on the friends and family caring for the loved one who is struggling. This process is a team effort so it is important that those providing the care and support are also taken care of. Mental health is a very difficult concept to understand since so much of how we interact with people is by judging their emotions and thoughts based on how we personally would respond to what one says.
Mental illness makes this hard to do since people who haven't had experience with the diseases before won't be able to think in the same way that those affected do. I know that I personally struggled with this empathy barrier with my sister. Looking back now there are ways that I have learned to understand the disease and mind sets more that I wish I had from the beginning. This is a common struggle for everyone and something that I believe needs more attention.