The Power of a Story

Over the last month or so, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on 2012, and I’ve come to realize that when you share your story, others are willing to share theirs and big things happen. As people learn about our efforts through Rob’s Kids, I learn of so many families who have mental health-related struggles similar to the struggles we have had. There is not one day that passes that someone doesn’t share their story with me, and I am grateful to each of them for their courage.

Stories are powerful things. The day Sam came to me and shared how she felt when her care providers took her clothes away, put her in an environment that would keep her safe, and comforted her during her feelings of desperation, my heart broke to think that she could feel that way and we didn’t know it.

After her Dad died by suicide, Sam participated in extensive therapy to help her manage the feelings and pressures of processing her father’s death. But 2 ½ years later, situational circumstances pulled Sam down. As a result, we found out that her diagnosis was not only depression but post-traumatic stress disorder as well.

The day that Sam spoke the words to her Mom “I want to die,” Tammi (her mom) knew she needed to find more intense help for Sam.

Because Tammi did the right thing and took Sam immediately to the emergency department for help, Sam received the help she needed at Cincinnati Children’s. Her doctors and nurses helped her recognize and appreciate the many reasons she had to live. With help, her story became, “Just because my Dad is gone doesn’t mean that I have to be gone too.”

In March 2011 she wanted to die. Just five months later, she asked me to help her save lives by raising money and awareness for pediatric mental health. She learned that there are many other kids who need the help that she was fortunate to receive and her story inspires me to help her do great things.

2012 was an amazingly successful year for Rob’s Kids Inc. I invite you to visit our website to see the list of results that were made possible by Sam’s continued commitment to sharing her story and encouraging others to appreciate the impact of mental health issues and share their own stories of survival.

If you have a story of survival that you’d like to share, please comment and do just that. Your story is powerful and can help others more than you know.

Together we can “Help these Kids get back up again!”

Stephanie – aka – GMA

Editor’s Note: Rob’s Kids is hosting their February Fit Fabulous event at Turfway Park on the evening of February 28th. Rumor has it, this is one fun event and if you’d like to meet Stephanie and her family and get involved with the efforts of Rob’s Kids, this is a great way to do it.

Stephanie Potter

About the Author: Stephanie Potter

Stephanie is Sam and Emma’s GMA and Executive Director of Rob’s Kids, Inc. Rob’s kids are her passion and Rob’s Kids, Inc. is her passion. She and her family, friends and colleagues, work diligently to accomplish their mission of making a difference in the lives of children who struggle with depression and PTSD. Without all of the support from those around her, it would be an impossible task. Stephanie loves people and serving the community. She started at a young age as a Candy Stripe Helper at the local hospitals. Throughout the years she has served in Girl Scouting, volunteering at schools, local women's ministry and serving in leadership roles in many business organizations. She was recently selected as Citizen of the Year by the Florence Rotary for her continued service in the community. She was quoted as saying "God gave me a heart to serve and many opportunities to do so." Stephanie serves her family in every need they have. From Wife, Mom and Grandma, her commitment to her family is first. The healing that Rob's Kids has provided to many is the driving force behind it's success. Stephanie will continue to serve as Executive Director until Sam and Emma are ready to take over. Rob's Kids is keeping the legacy of their Dad alive and the services Rob's Kids will be able to provide will save other lives as well.

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