Personal Stories

Experiencing a mental illness can often feel like a lonely experience, however, one in four adult San Diegans have a mental health challenge. This means that many others share similar struggles, feelings and questions. Hardships such as abuse, stigma and discrimination, homelessness, or traumatic memories can be difficult, but life can get better. Connecting with the right people, finding inner strength and tapping into local programs can make all the difference. There are people who care, who can relate and who want to help others get on the road to recovery. Watch these personal story movies created by San Diegans to inspire, offer hope and challenge stereotypes

Kimberly's Story: There is More to Live For

“If you’re suffering, regardless of what you are thinking in this moment, you have more… VIEW

Joe's Story: A Different Battle

“Physically I was home. Mentally, though, I never left Iraq.” VIEW

Craig's Story: Dropping the Facade

“Almost as far back as I can remember I had become a master at shutting off emotions I… VIEW

Amanda's Story: Moving Forward with Life

"I was starting to lose hope for life- it was a struggle to live. And all of a sudden the… VIEW

Annabelle's Story: Healing

"Suicide impacts so many more people than the one that died… As a community we need to… VIEW

Jennifer's Story: You Are Not Alone

"I asked him to get help, but he was afraid of the stigma of seeking counseling. He was… VIEW

Angie's Story: Brand New Day

"I accepted the illness because I knew I was not just a schizophrenic, but a creative… VIEW

Antonio's Story: Different Strokes for Different Folks

"When I first had symptoms, I was in denial. Thinking back now, it is worse to be in the… VIEW

Pharoh's Story: Standing Soldier

"I have faced a lot of stigma in my life. It made me feel imprisoned, like my freedom of… VIEW

Elvira's Story: Enlightenment

"I was feeling very down, very depressed... the support from my loving family is the best… VIEW

Susan's Story: Who Am I?

"In the Asian culture mental illness is taboo. When we are sad, we say we don’t feel well… VIEW

Jamin's Story: Despite the Odds

"As I reached out for help and support, I found those who truly believed in me – which… VIEW

Michelle's Story: We Can't Rewind

"I am still realizing my dream but also taking care of myself. If you receive a diagnosis… VIEW

La Historia de Mercedes (Spanish with English Subtitles)

"Today’s reality is that mental illness is no reason to be alone or for your family to be… VIEW

Evelyn's Story: Elements

"As long as you permit yourself to still have a breath... a pulse... there is hope." VIEW

Bruce's Story: Don't Give Up Hope

"For years the label defined who I was. Now the diagnosis is secondary to who I am as a… VIEW

If you or someone you care about needs to speak to someone or is in crisis and needs immediate help, please call the Access & Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. Trained and experienced counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. You don't have to suffer in silence, make the FREE call. If emergency medical care is needed,
call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

Now's the time to read up! With one in four adult San Diegans facing mental health challenges, it’s up to us to make San Diego a supportive community for those experiencing such challenges. Through education and awareness, the "It's Up to Us" bulletin offers mental health related information, resources, ways to get involved and also stay informed.