Faces of Loudoun: Mental Illness Just Means I Need Help Now and Then

Meet Scott: For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with mental illness. It got worse in my early 20s. All my friends used drugs and drank and, before long, I joined them.

When I was under the influence, I made bad choices. My mental health deteriorated, I couldn’t keep a job, and I left those around me hurting. It felt like a downward spiral, and I didn’t know where to turn.

No one in Loudoun should have to face mental health challenges alone.

The Next Chapter

My family stepped in to get me help. They took me to a hospital with mental health services that helped me get sober and prescribed me medication to keep me on track. They also connected me to a local nonprofit that, for 19 years now, has been my support system. They manage my finances, make sure I’m paying my bills on time, connect me with job coaches, and get me rides when I have somewhere to go.

With their support, I’ve turned my life around.

I can take care of myself now. I moved from a group home into an apartment in Leesburg. I recently graduated from a psychosocial rehabilitation program and am now looking for a part-time job. What’s the milestone I’m most proud of? I just hit 33 years of sobriety. Everyone who helped me get here say they are proud of me.

I’ve learned that mental illness isn’t a death sentence. With the help of local volunteers, nonprofits, and government-run programs, individuals like me can live a full life. We just need a little help sometimes. Won’t you lend a hand and help end the need in Loudoun?

As part of the Community Foundation’s Faces of Loudoun campaign, Loudoun Now is publishing monthly articles highlighting men, women and children who have found a helping hand when they needed it most. Learn more or donate to help End the Need at FacesofLoudoun.org.

One thought on “Faces of Loudoun: Mental Illness Just Means I Need Help Now and Then

  • 2019-09-28 at 11:35 am

    Well done for maintain sobriety for so many years.
    It is encouraging to hear you share your lifetime struggles.
    We all stand with you as you realize a full life and work towards all your goals.

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