My Mental Health Journey

Dan at the age of 12

My Mental Health Journey: Dan Tibbits chooses connection through his recovery

Sacramento County resident Dan Tibbits is 30 years in recovery from substance use disorder, with the support of 12 Step Recovery. He was dual-diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 33. Dan shares his story to create a sense of connection and hope for others struggling with substance use disorder or mental illness.

La Viola Ward

My Mental Health Journey: From dusty beginnings to giving back

La Viola Ward is a mental health speaker and advocate. After obtaining her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, she made it her mission to share her experience living with mental illness and hopes to help to reduce many of the stigmas associated with mental health — especially within communities of color through her work.

Amanda Cruz

My Mental Health Journey: Ponte Las Pilas

There’s a saying in Spanish that goes “ponte las pilas,” literally meaning “put the batteries in. I heard this phrase from my dad all the time growing up and even now as an adult. If you heard someone say “put the batteries in” in English, you’d probably think about getting a remote control or a toy car, but dad was actually telling us to “put the batteries in” to ourselves.

Juan Acosta

My Mental Health Journey: Owning My Light

Mental Health? What is that? I grew up questioning what mental health was. Growing up I did not learn in school or at home that one must care for their mental health. Conversations around the topic were little to none, and when the conversations presented themselves they were surrounded by stigma. I am a proud Mexican immigrant and recognize that my culture has a long way to go in addressing mental health. Growing up I watched and heard stuff in the media that taught boys to “toughen up,” and that if you showed emotion it was a sign of weakness, something to be ashamed of.

Jasdeep Bains

My Mental Health Journey: First Generation

South Asian culture often gives precedence to physical health, sometimes at the expense of mental health needs. You might hear, “If you are physically healthy, you’re fine.” If someone expresses being anything less than happy or content (for whatever reason), the response is often, “you have a loving family, you don’t have to worry about where your next meal comes from, you have a roof over your head, why are you so dissatisfied?”

Crystal Lopez-Franco

My Mental Health Journey: Finding Identity

Weird. Unaccepted. Judged. Growing up as a Mexican-American in a home that did not prioritize Mexican culture, I developed these feelings early in my youth. I was influenced by many different cultures growing up. As I encountered people from the same cultural background who were more connected with the traditions than I was, internalized conflict developed.

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