A West Valley Clinic Experience | Valley Cares
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July 7, 2016 By Richard Evans

As a person who has struggled with mental health issues my entire life, I know the sadness of rejections and not feeling accepted or understood. Growing up, mental health issues were not discussed and were very taboo and left me feeling different than everyone else, even my own family. Because mental health disorders were an unmentionable subject, I often felt alienated from my family. They kept me hidden and out of sight, even to the point of being locked away in my room. During those times, I felt very alone and sad. The only thing that eventually helped me cope was when I got a TV for my room. Watching shows helped me to not feel as alone.

At times, life seemed hopeless. When I was younger, my dream in life was to get cancer and die, so I wouldn’t have to live a life with mental health problems. Even today, life can be overwhelming and aggravating. My short term memory leaves me feeling stupid and frustrated with myself. I’ve lived a life with people thinking I don’t understand them and that I’m not capable of living a fully functioning life. But the one thing I do know for certain is there is always hope and Valley has given me that.

Since I’ve been going to Valley, I am finding ways to cope with my mental health disorders. I attend group skill classes regularly and meet with my case manager often. I am very thankful to have Valley in my life. One of the best things I enjoy about Valley is that I feel like I am heard. People listen to me, I am taken care of and most importantly, I am treated well. I have made great friends that make me feel loved and at peace.

The advice I would give others struggling with mental health issues is that there is hope and you are not alone. You can live a good life. I have been working on getting better my entire life. I may not be fully sane in my mind, but I am sane in my heart and I thank Valley for that.

Richard Evans,
West Valley Behavioral Health Clinic

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