Stories of struggle, perseverance and hope are shared by countless San Diegans. Facing stigma and discrimination, overcoming hardships such as abuse, homelessness and traumatic memories can be difficult, but it can get better. Finding inner strength and connecting with the right people or local programs can make all the difference. Visit www.Up2SD.org to view personal story movies created by San Diegans to inspire, offer hope and challenge stereotypes.
“When the doctor told me I had clinical depression and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), my first thought was how stigmatized, alone and sad my daughter would be from now on. Mental illness had been drilled in my mind as being the worst thing to have in the Latino culture I grew up in. Many events contributed to my eventual diagnosis: losing my family to terrorism in Colombia, losing my house in Lake Tahoe and being homeless in San Diego. Many times I felt like giving up, but my daughter gave me the courage to get up and keep on trying to get somewhere in my life. And I did! I completed four Bachelor’s and two Masters Degrees, and currently I work for Recovery Innovations of California. Today’s reality is that mental illness is no reason to be alone or for your family to be stigmatized. Receiving help is just as humble as giving it!” – Mercedes Weber