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.