In June of 2003, I spent my 20th birthday in an adult psychiatric hospital unit.  I was exhausted, confused, and scared.

Two weeks later, as my first bipolar mania gave way to a terrifying onslaught of depression, I felt hopeless and very, very alone.

A lot has changed since then.

After some trial and error, I’ve connected with a psychiatrist and counselor who help me manage my illness by finding the right balance of medication and lifestyle adjustments.

My friends and family have stuck with me through rough spots and I think they have learned a lot about their own mental health in the process.  I am also fortunate to work with a wonderful group of individuals who understand my condition and respect my mental health needs.

Today, I am proud to be a home owner, a loving parent of two dogs, and a team member at Trillium Family Services where I work every day to help children get the mental health care they need in order to thrive.

There have been some bumpy patches for me in the past few years, and there will surely be more down the road.

Even so, I know that there is great hope for me and for every person living with a mental health challenge when friends, family, and our community all rally to ensure access to treatment.  In both my professional and personal life, I see that treatment saves lives every day.

On May 23, I’m going to be walking because I am not alone!

~ Jillian Glazer Team Captain,  Trillium Family Services