My name is Lucy and I hope you will take a moment to allow me to share my story with you.
Growing up, my relationship with my mother had always been distant. Perhaps it was that way because for many years I was unhappy and felt isolated. I saw friends experiencing close relationships with their parents and grew resentful that somehow, I was being denied what others seemed to so easily have. Then, my mother passed away and I watched my whole life change.

For the final three weeks of her life, she had moved in with me so that I could care for her. There was no one else. At first, it was difficult as we both searched to say words we knew needed to be spoken. But then, as I reached to let go of my anger and embrace her, we were able to connect more deeply than we ever had in the past. I finally had the relationship with my mother that I had been searching for my whole life, and to have it taken from me so quickly left me shattered.

For weeks after her passing I struggled. Each day was a mixture of deep sadness and loss. I found times where I isolated myself from friends, not wanting to accept help from anyone. In my head I knew that I needed to get help but, in my heart, I could not let go of my grief. Thank goodness for a friend that would not take “Leave me alone” for an answer. Thank goodness they shared that when they needed help, they had reached out to the Mental Health Association of Central Florida. It took courage I didn’t know I had at the time, to admit how low I had gotten and that I needed a hand up to start a path of recovery.

When I finally reached out to the Connections referral counselor, at the MHACF, they didn’t just answer the phone. They answered my call. I have now been a client of the MHACF Outlook Clinic for several months and the difference it has made has been like waking up from a dark night. While I am still not fully where I want to be, I am amazed by the progress I have made. I have finally found the strength to look inside and see the real me. They have made me realize that it is okay to get help.
Unfortunately, my story of despair is not unique. However, with your help my story of recovery also doesn’t have to be. Reported rates of depression and anxiety are at record levels and the work being done at the Outlook Clinic is creating real pathways for recovery.

In honor of my mother, I have pledged my support to the Mental Health Association of Central Florida so that the next someone calling in for reassurance and help has the same chance I was given. I ask that you consider pledging a gift today in honor of either someone you love or even yourself so that we all can make mental health services more accessible for those that need it most.