Soul to Soul Foundation: Supportive Networking for Effective Mental Health Care

Today’s guest post comes to us from Michelle and Cami, who recently launched Soul to Soul Foundation, an organization committed to assisting people suffering directly and indirectly from mental illness.

From the Outside, by Michelle

My sister once asked our older brother what his pain felt like.  He’d often accused her and others of not knowing what his pain felt like and concluded that he was lonely and cut off from everyone else because of it.

“Like someone has poured lead into my chest and filled my with it,” he described.

Brian was diagnosed as passive suicidal when he was sixteen years old.  During his early adolescent years my parents had become alarmed by a distinct change in his outlook on life and his perception of himself.  He had become withdrawn, subdued, and unhappy.

For the next 8 years my family had tried to do what we could, encouraging counseling, medication, and therapy.  He tried and rejected all of them. In the end, he didn’t want help.  He was afraid of what his life would be like when tampered with by other people. He didn’t trust professionals.

And in the very end, he took his life.

Grief and mourning filled my chest like molten lead.  Hot and heavy.  Impenetrable.  And it seemed that happiness had been flushed out as sorrow seeped into every tiny crevice of my soul.

However, as my family has grieved and slowly healed over these last 13 years, understanding that Brian’s clinical depression and chemical balance was not our fault, and certainly not his, has slowly melted the lead away.  Maybe we could have done more, certainly we would have done things differently, but we did what we knew to do at the time.  Learning has continued in these years that have followed and we yearn to help others like Brian to be better informed about their situation and their options. 

I joined Soul to Soul Foundation with a glowing passion to reach out to friends and strangers who suffer from mental illness.  Soul to Soul’s mission is to help educate the public and assist individuals with mental illness to get the mental health care they need.  We are currently raising money for two funds.  One for an individual to continue with a specialized behavior therapy that has been making a difference but funding expired.  The second fund is for an individual who struggles with an eating disorder to get mental health-oriented nutritional counseling.

Please visit SoultoSoulFoundation.blogspot.com to donate directly to these funds.  Any amount will help us towards meeting these goals. And, even better, we have set up a Fundraiser Store with a variety of donated goods and services.  Shop for the Holidays and help save a soul!   Thank you!

 

From the Inside, by Cami

I’ve been suffering from various mental illnesses for the past 17 years.  It has been a long, lonely, very heart-breaking road.  I’ve been blessed enough to have had amazing support from friends who have assisted me in getting the treatment that I’ve needed in order to move on with my life.  And now, it’s time to give back.

I’m passionate about getting people who need mental health treatment the help they need because I know how horrific it is to hope day in and out that a way of healing will be provided and then to be disappointed time and time again as either the mental health provider isn’t specialized enough to treat my case, or I simply had no funding to pay for the specialized treatment that was available.

It took me 17 years to get the help that I’m receiving now.  Folks, 17 years is just too long for a person to hold on scraping by with the tips of their fingernails as they contemplate suicide.  It is truly through miracles that I am here today.  My illnesses nearly took my life.  If I hadn’t have received the specialized care that I so desperately needed, when I needed it, I would not be alive today to tell you my story.

From the bottom of my heart, I invite you to please donate something–anything–to our cause at Soul to Soul Foundation.  Every cent of every donation goes to helping pay for mental health care.  This is a sincere plea from someone who nearly lost her life to mental illness, but because there is hope, recovery is possible.  Thank you so much for reading this.  Have a very blessed day!