Photo by Stephanie Lin
"M" is greeted with a standing ovation for courageously sharing her struggles with depression in a moving testimonial at Community Hope's annual fundraising event in October.
|"Without Community Hope
and the Young Adult
Program, young people like
me would not have an
option other than to be sent
to a mental hospital. Imagine that, to lock people away for being depressed."
"M" has the scars from her difficult childhood. The ones you can see from being thrown off a fire escape as a toddler and the ones you can't. From her mother dying soon after and leaving her and two sisters alone. From living with different family through divorces and abusive relationships.
Still, she considers herself more fortunate than her younger sister, who was just 11 years old the first time she was sent to a psychiatric hospital, where she resides still.
"My friends say I am the one sister who will make it. I like to believe they are right," she says. Community Hope is giving her that chance.
"I came here without a family to lean on or support me in my struggle with depression. But here, I have been able to make friends. I have been able to work on overcoming my depression and the difficulty I have in attaching to people. Now I am letting people get to know me, opening up more. With the help of my counselors, I am working on goals for my life: Goals like getting and maintaining a job and learning to be more independent."
Several months ago, "M" graduated from Community Hope's Young Adult Group Home, with around-the-clock counselors and support, to the Transitioning-to-Independence residence down the street.
"I live with two roommates and my counselors are nearby to help me stay on track," she said.
"Without Community Hope and the Young Adult Program, young people like me would not have an option other than to be sent to a mental hospital. Years ago, they would have locked me away. Imagine that, to lock people away for being depressed. Instead, I have a lot to look forward to."