My name is Essence Jones. I am a 35 year old wife and mother of 1. Life has not always been steady for me for I have held a secret from many for nearly 20 years, something that many of us suffer from that goes unnoticed. I suffered from depression. Although people have always looked at me as a happy, outgoing person, myself, like many others have suffered alone in darkness. Behind closed doors, it was a different story. Everyone’s reasoning is different, in my household and community, we didn’t discuss mental illness or it was avoided. When you did bring it up, you were shunned or told to pray harder. 

But what do you do when praying isn’t enough or when you have people around you who do not understand or you have no one.

I decided to start this movement for several reasons. For one, in this day in age, mental illness is at an all-time high as well as the suicide rate. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 American adults live or experiences mental illness in a given year (43.8. million). 16.3% of Hispanic, 19.3% of White, 18.6% of African Americans, 13.9% of Asians and 28.3% of Native Americans live with a mental health condition. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Because of stigma and lack of mental health treatment, those with mental illnesses choose to suffer in silence. We need to get the conversation started, we need to heal, we need to get mental healthy.

Secondly, I have lost 2 family members to suicide with connections to mental illness because they suffered in silence. So many questions, not enough answers. So many feelings “should of, could of, and would of “ but not enough ”I did”.  I do not want to lose any more people to suicide because of us not dealing with our mental health.

Lastly, it helps with my healing process as well. If I could just help or give one person the tools, resources and outlets to care from themselves mentally, I have done what God has placed so heavy on my heart. I would like to give others the opportunity to network with others that may have gone or are going through similar experiences as themselves. We need to help teach each other how to get and stay mental healthy.

Let’s take care of our minds and our spirits. Let’s get this conversation started. I wish everyone, love, blessings, and light.


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