1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?
⁃ “I Honestly Cant Remember How Old I Was When I Realized Mental Health Was A Thing. It’s Always Been Around But Never Really addressed Time Be Honest All The Information & Understanding I Have on Mental Heath Come From Me Bring Old Enough To Research & Going To Find Answers.”
2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge? 3. If so, how was it growing up ?
⁃ “So My Dad Has bipolar He Was Diagnosed When I was A Baby. He Actually Went In & Out Of Mental Institutions While I was A Small Child & Constantly Had Mental Break downs Throughout my child hood I really didn’t know something was wrong with him because it just wasn’t talked about in our house hold at all. I remember when I was like 11 he woke up in the middle of the night taking our common house hold items like you know our iron & like vacuum & told me & my mom he was gonna sell it & we were gonna be rich that’s when I really realized he was different before that he was just my dad I mean he was in & out but that was normal for me.”
3. If so, how was it growing up ?
⁃ “growing up with my dad was so much fun when he was there he’s the reason I love the beach so much he was always taking us somewhere he’s was always funny he cooked a lot but I mean him & my mom together was a lot so much so I preferred him when he was gone. Yeah He Had His Manic moments but I think having kids young, him & my mom not getting along, & him not always making good money in addition to him self medicating & not taking his medication like the doctors prescribed really took a toll on him”
4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental in tact?
⁃ “Now Knowing All That I Know About Mental Illness’s & Mental Health I Make Sure I Listen To Myself Taking A Break When I Need, Distancing When I Need Too, Reaching Out When I Need Too. I Make The Effort To Take The informations I Have & Teach My Kids so They Don’t Have To Guess Like I Did. I’ve Been To Therapy I’ve taken my oldest son to therapy & I take great pride in that. It’s a dark cloud in the black community. We’re scared to talk about it to acknowledge it to find solutions & I try to stop that cycle by doing better in my family.”
5. What does Mental Health Awareness mean to you?
⁃ “Mental Health Means Community To Me Because That’s What We Need To See It Through To The Other Side. We Need To Stick Together, Support Those In Need & Most Of All Not Sweep It Under the Rug Like We’ve Done So many Years.”