Personal Stories

Mental health challenges are common, but fortunately, so is recovery. Connecting with the right people, finding inner strength and tapping into local programs can make an impact. Research also shows that when everyday people in your community open up about their mental health challenges and their recovery, attitudes change and stigma is reduced. Watch these personal stories of real San Diegans, get inspired and share them with others. Talking openly about mental illness isn’t always easy, but it can make all the difference.

  • Amanda’s Story: Moving Forward with Life

    Amanda shares her story about struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide after losing her husband, and homelessness. She talks about her journey of finding help and recovery.

  • Angie’s Story: Brand New Day

    Angie tells her story of recovery from alcoholism, coping with schizophrenia and suicidal thoughts, and shares how she has used art and peer support to find hope again.

  • Annabelle’s Story: Healing

    Annabelle shares her experience of losing her sister to suicide, and offers words of wisdom and encouragement to those who have experienced a similar loss.

  • Antonio’s Story: Different Strokes for Different Folks

    Antonio tells his story of being in denial about his symptoms and self-medicating before deciding to seek support. He shares his journey, from seeking the right treatment plan to finding wellness.

  • Bruce’s Story: Don’t Give Up Hope

    Bruce shares his struggle with bipolar disorder, chronic depression, and drug and alcohol use. He discusses his recovery process and the great strides made in the mental health field over the years.

  • Craig’s Story: Dropping the Facade

    Craig tells his story of a seemingly successful life built on decades of shutting down negative emotions, and how he moved through depression and a suicide attempt to be his authentic self.

  • Elvira’s Story: Enlightenment

    Elvira shares about her struggle with depression, and how she found hope and happiness by putting herself first and relying on her Filipino family and community.

  • Jamin’s Story: Despite the Odds

    Jamin talks about his journey to recovery from mental health issues, and how he advocated and believed in himself with the support of his family.

  • Joe’s Story: A Different Battle

    Joe talks about coping with PTSD after being deployed to Iraq, and how he moved through difficult feelings and suicidal thoughts to find a place of wellness.

  • Jennifer’s Story: You Are Not Alone

    Jennifer shares her experience of losing her husband, a military veteran, to suicide, and encourages others to reach out for help when they are in need.

  • Kimberly’s Story: There is More to Live For

    Kimberly talks about using self-harm to deal with difficult emotions as a teen, and how she learned to adopt healthier coping strategies. She urges others to believe recovery is possible and move forward.

  • Mercedes’ Story (Spanish with English Subtitles)

    Mercedes tells about her experiences with homelessness, clinical depression, and PTSD, and how she dealt with her own internalized stigma to move toward wellness.

  • Michelle’s Story: We Can’t Rewind

    Michelle talks about coming to terms with her mental health diagnosis and learning to take symptoms of bipolar disorder seriously in order to recover and stay well.

  • Pharoh’s Story: Standing Soldier

    Pharoh shares his story after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and substance abuse issues, how he broke the cycle of homelessness and imprisonment to seek recovery and help others do the same.

  • Susan’s Story: Who Am I?

    Susan, an API youth, shares her experiences with severe depression and schizophrenia. Through family support and art therapy, she was able to recover and find a place of purpose.