"A Diagnosis Isn't the End."

 By Kailee Ferguson                                                                                                         February 20, 2019
The Angler Guest Reporter

“A Diagnosis Isn’t the End.”

            At TEDxLSSC this past weekend, Army veteran and full-time LSSC student, James Thomas Simons struck the audience with the gravity of mental health in his speech 
“It’s time to change the way we think (and talk) about mental health.”
From talking about Simon’s experiences with his mental health to sharing how 2/3 of the population never seek help, he inspires the audience by bringing positive awareness to mental health and those who suffer from its various forms. Even though he “[believed] that [mental illness] would label [him] as a failure,” he sought help and support. Despite his thoughts that post-traumatic stress disorder would make people see him as “a weapon with the safety broken,” Simons encourages others that it isn’t the end- that a diagnosis isn’t the final verdict
            Mental health isn’t simply depression or a personality quirk. We all know someone who has a mental illness, whether that friend or family member is aware of it or not. You cannot judge or assume what someone has gone through. If you feel you would like some help or further information on this, please reach out to your local school counselor, work counselor, physician or even a trusted friend.
 Furthermore, an extra extension of respect or kindness should be given to those you meet. Simons presents this compassionate solution; “A few kind words can change a person’s life.” We can all transform each other’s life with a few simple steps:
1.    Don’t harbor self-stigma
2.    Show compassion for those with mental illnesses.
3.    Be honest and choose empowerment over neglect.
It takes minimal effort to make a maximum change in someone’s life. If you know someone who is struggling with mental illness, depression or even suicide, please don’t be stationary.
YOU can change a life.
YOU can have a new life.
YOU are never alone.
            or visit 
https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/mental-health-hotline/ for more information
or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ for more information

“I no longer fear…
…I stand here proud…
…a diagnosis isn’t the end.”
          James Thomas Simons

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