I moved to Nevada after graduating from University in Canada, where I struggled deeply with my mental health. A woman who would later become a massive influence in my life hired me to work for Hope Means Nevada (HMN) – a movement raising awareness around mental health and teen suicide by educating people on the signs of extreme distress. Little did she know that HMN would shape my life in so many ways. It taught me that people genuinely care and that I have never been alone even in my darkest days – people saw me and wanted to help me.
Since the beginning, I worked for HMN and was given responsibilities that enabled me to help it grow into the first statewide mental wellness non-profit organization that aims to eliminate teen suicide in Nevada. I have fostered partnerships with many different organizations, including the National Alliance of Mental Illness, The Defensive Line, Born This Way Foundation, and more. I connected with many community resources that offer help and support; these relationships mean more to me than they will ever know.
I believe this has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A kismet opportunity. The universe recognized that I had been struggling for such a long time, and it blessed me with a way to use my voice. The greatest gift of all was being able to help others. There were many times when I would see myself in someone, and I could approach them, and their eyes lit up when I told them that I saw them and I wanted to help. I believe that I have saved lives through Hope Means Nevada. I will hold that in my heart forever.
I chose Hope Means Nevada to receive a donation from the Kindness in Community program because they created a community of hope in our state and my heart.