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Mental Health Purpose in Pain – A Mother & Daughter Story – by Hope Jackson-Battiste

Reflecting back on the past year and all its challenges, I’ve become aware that pain can lead to purpose. I’m Hope Jackson-Battiste founder of Hope is Wellness. An organization that focuses on mental health awareness, ending the stigma associated with treating mental health illnesses, and providing a real-life narrative of caring for someone with a mental illness. My daughter Jaime suffers with depression and I battle anxiety. I like to refer to our situation as surviving depression while battling anxiety.

Earlier this year, our lives were changed by my daughter’s onset of depression that was so severe that it required her to be hospitalized for 3 days in a psychiatric ward. I felt blindsided by the situation, until I realized I missed all the signs that were present. Irritability, changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, seclusion you name it. A lot of the signs were brushed off as teenage behavior but boy was I wrong.

I’ve found that the most important thing that helps those caring for someone with a mental illness is education. It’s so important to get knowledge on whatever illness or illnesses you’re dealing with. Fighting mental illness is hard and the more you know the better. Supportive family & friends also helped with the recovery of Jaime and assisting me when I needed support. Don’t be afraid to get help from your physician. Our family physician was very instrumental in assisting with medication and referring her to other physicians that could help.

Currently, I’m working with my organization, Hope is Wellness, in promoting awareness to mental health as well as community outreach. I want to have a positive impact in our community and help as many people as I can deal with the mental health issues in their life. As a result of facing our mental health issues head on, Jaime and I have a closer relationship now that we’ve learned to talk and be open with our feelings. Learning that mental illness affects everyone involved, has allowed our family to heal from past trauma and know that we can overcome any obstacle mental health issues may place in our path. 


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