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Letter: You can find hope

Being told that you have a mental illness is not the end of the world. With help and support, you can recover and achieve your life’s ambitions. Of course, you will face many challenges as you begin your new journey, but there is hope. Mental illnesses are manageable, and there are a number of things you can do for yourself after a diagnosis to cope with the news, keep up with your treatment, support your own recovery and move forward in your journey.

Our understanding of mental illness is much better today than it was just a few years ago. We know that there are different illnesses that require different approaches to treatment. New medications and new types of therapy improve the chance of successful treatment. Having a solid support system makes a huge difference when it comes to successful recovery.

It is important to realize that you are not alone. Mental illnesses are common, affecting one in five Americans. Hope can come from our own inner desire to regain health and live. The more active you are in understanding your condition, taking responsibility for your own care and reaching out for help, the more chances you have of making gains that give you a greater reason to hope.

Recovering from mental illness includes not only getting better,  but achieving a full and satisfying life. Many people affirm that their journey to recovery has not been a straight, steady road. Rather, there are ups and downs, new discoveries and setbacks. Over time, it is possible to look back and see how far we have really come. Each time we reach such a milestone, we see that we have recovered a piece of our lives and we draw new strength from it. The journey to full recovery takes time, but positive changes can happen all along the way. We just have to remember that there is always hope.

If you are in need of assistance or just need some additional support, I may be reached at gottahavehope38@gmail.com. Just remember that there is always hope. It may be hard to see at times, but it is always there.

Mark Jacobson

peer support specialist

Winona