Written by Victoria Ryan, Team In this together
When I was 15, I had an experience with losing someone as a result of suicide. It was difficult to navigate my life as an early teenager and dealing with this type of trauma. I isolated and shut off a large emotional part of myself. I developed a hard outer shell because I did not want to experience this type of hurt again. In doing that, I had to keep people at an arm’s length. I almost never let others get too close.
It was through self-development and further understanding of mental health that I was able to overcome this barrier. It was not an easy thing to change, but it was what was necessary to achieve my own goals. As a result of this experience, I developed a strong passion for the mental health field.
After high school, I went on to receive my Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Masters in Counseling Psychology. My passion lies at the intersection of suicide prevention and addiction. Because mental health is such a large part of my life, I became a therapist and continue to work with people to make sure they do not feel alone. I currently work with those battling substance use disorders and plan to focus my career within this group.
I participated in the Samaritans 5K for the first time in 2019. This year I named my team “In this together” because I want to provide support for anyone who may feel alone, ensuring that those who are struggling feel someone cares and appreciates their life. I am grateful for Samaritans because they give people resources when they do not feel that they are supported.