“A few years ago I was in a crisis, and I knew I didn’t want to stay that way. I realized [mental health] is a bigger problem than we talk about, and something that people need to know more about. I don’t want people to experience what I experienced, and I know that there are people that currently do. I think it takes a lot of courage to want to make a change, to want to better yourself and the people around you. I care about this movement because it’s bringing to light the different aspects of mental health.

I first started struggling when I was very little with extreme aggression. My mother took me to a therapist, so I had help processing my emotions and controlling them in a more manageable way. When I was 13 or 14, emotions started showing up in the form of depression and anxiety. But I didn’t want to get more help. I didn’t want people to think that I was ‘crazy.’

It became hard for me to do things in school. I didn’t have much confidence in myself and didn’t really want to do anything. I got a proper diagnosis when I was 14. That’s when I learned the extent of my anxiety and my depression.

I’m in a better place now. I know what’s good for me and I know my boundaries. This movement is showing me that [there are] people to help you. That’s part of why I’m so passionate about it. I love helping people. If you know me, you know you could talk to me about anything. I’m always there to lend a hand. I’m always there to listen and if there’s anything that you need, crisis or not, I could help you.”

Rachel, Kansas