You know those people you meet and immediately just vibe with? That’s my friend Elizabeth for you. We met while I was working for a freelance client, and our personalities clicked.
In getting to know Elizabeth, I discovered that she is a double, yeah girl – DOUBLE board-certified Psychiatrist. She is board certified in both Child & Adolescent Psychiatry as well as Adult Psychiatry.
Mental Health has always mattered to me, as I have seen friends lose their battles to depression. I made a vow to myself to make sure I check in on my friends but also myself.
Something great about our friendship is that I can always get real advice from Elizabeth on how to introduce my friends, colleagues, or even acquaintances to therapy.
Sure, that might sound silly, but think about it: we never know the impact we might have on someone, so wouldn’t you want to be armed with the tools to educate and hopefully save a life?
Finding mental health intriguing, Elizabeth enjoyed this particular rotation the most in medical school. Like most of us, she went into one particular field (surgery) only to realize her passion was elsewhere (psychiatry).
Her internship brought her to the realization that psychiatry was her passion. So what else could she do but pack her bags, leave Missouri and come out to UT Southwestern! As they say, the rest is history.
You know I just had to brag on her for a minute before we got into the serious stuff.
I think we should all surround ourselves with people that not only uplift us but encourage us. You should never be the smartest person in your friend group, and while I’m one smart cookie, I’m not the smartest one in my group. And that’s okay because I know there is still SO MUCH more to learn in this life. And I am blessed to be around people that exude grace and of course, knowledge.
World Suicide Awareness Day was today, and while I shared my own thoughts about it, I also wanted to share some expert feedback from someone I admired:
“It is easy to feel alone despite being surrounded by others. However, you are not alone, and there are multiple pathways for you to get the help that you both need and deserve. Taking that very first step toward improving your mental health might very well save your life.”— Elizabeth Ucheoma-Cofield, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Board Certified Adult Psychiatry, Board Certified
“More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and that number is likely even higher, given the prominence of underreporting symptoms to healthcare providers.
Depression is an isolating illness where it is easy to feel alone despite being surrounded by others. However, you are not alone in your depression, and there are multiple pathways for you to get the help that you both need and deserve. Taking that very first step toward improving your mental health might very well save your life.
In fact, mental health care provision has evolved in response to the COVID pandemic to essentially make services more accessible to people across the globe through expansion of virtual services. A simple google search will essentially connect you with countless psychiatrists, therapists, and other mental healthcare providers both willing and able to elevate your mental health.
If you are in crisis, please understand that there is opportunity for support 24/7. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for support. Another valuable mental health resource for people suffering with mental illness is NAMI (a.k.a “The National Alliance for Mental Illness”). NAMI is a national organization that offers mental health education, resources, and support to family systems affected by mental illness.
Because nearly 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness at any given time over a lifespan, mental illness will affect us all personally or by affecting someone we love. However, mental illness does not have to get the best of us! By exercising our collective capacity to support one another and utilize the resources all around us, we can and will win the fight against mental illness.”
So there you have it: you are not alone. Help is out there. Your brightest day is still ahead. Keep fighting. Don’t give up.