Why Speak Out About Stress and Mental Illness?

I spent 12 years at the Police Academy in Goldenwest College of Huntington Beach, California. I was cultivating and coordinating the presentation of a course called ‘Crisis Intervention Training’ in which Orange County’s policing community gained insights about mental illness. I provided some instruction within the course course curriculum, and there were some exhausting days on which I questioned whether it was all worth it. I got my answer one afternoon when one of the officers attending our intermediate level course slipped me a greeting card on his way out at the end of the day. It read…

“Scott – I’ve been meaning to write this for years but on seeing you again, it’s a great chance to THANK YOU. In CIT I (a former class sitting) you shared your experience on duty. You opened my eyes to my own mental health struggles. After that class I finally sought out help with my depression. I tried a few Docs and Meds until I found a good fit. 2 years ago I started Lexapro and started life all over again. My current happiness would not have happened if you hadn’t removed the stigma of mental illness. It is just an illness, medically treatable. Thank you for sharing your story and for your continued work with law enforcement. It probably saved my life…Rob.”

For anyone who speaks publicly to educate others about any of life’s difficult journeys – the answer is a huge YES! It is very much worth it and the messages we send are touching lives in so many beautiful ways. Thanks for the card, Rob. It really meant a lot to me and I will treasure it.

Oh…And That’s Why!