Mental Health Chronicles: Anxiety and Depression

Woman, lying down on a sofa, her knees to her chest, clutching her stomach because she is experiencing endometriosis pain.

Anxiety and Depression are common topics in our society today. You can’t consume media these days without hearing about mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five US adults will experience mental illness in a given year. More than 90% of people who die by suicide show symptoms of a mental health condition.

In August of 2010, AdventHealth partnered with the Mental Health Association of Central Florida to provide mental health counseling to the uninsured population at a place called The Outlook Clinic. Julie, a licensed clinical social worker at the clinic, says most patients are days away from contemplating suicide when they come in for counseling.

Tonya found the clinic over eight years ago after a failed suicide attempt and was already planning a second attempt to take her own life when she met Julie. That was her turning point.

“I was sitting in front of a stranger at that moment death was only a day away. I owe my life to Julie and the Outlook Clinic.”

Tonya began regular therapy sessions with Julie and started writing what would later become a biography of her life. Every therapy session began with Tonya reading a new chapter in her book to discuss with Julie.

Julie says there is no judgement at her clinic. “Each patient could be any one of us. People profile other people without jobs as system dependent. Most people were let go from work and they have no way to provide for themselves. These are real people, real stories and real lives.”

Tonya credits God and Julie at the Outlook Clinic for helping her through the depression and suicidal thoughts. Today, Tonya is working hard to publish her biography and hopes that her book will represent a beacon of hope to others battling mental health issues.

“Depression was my boss and was out to win. I am in control now. It’s still there every day but I deal with it. I want people to know how important it is to get help. I want to give others hope.”

To learn more about the Outlook Clinic, visit

To make a donation, click here.

If you or someone you know is battling suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at Call1-800-273-8255.

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