Jessica: New Knowledge and Skills

Although Jessica acknowledges life with her mother has not always been easy, she sees good things coming out of her experience. She has learned it is possible to “live a normal life when faced with adversity.” She has an increased capacity for empathy for others.

It’s helped me in my life as an adult have more compassion and understanding for people living with mental illness. Whether it be a friend or a family member or a colleague, coworker, client, a student or it may be one of my child’s friends. Okay, people are different. You just got to figure out what works for them.

Jessica ended the interview with an inspiring message about how to communicate care and support when interacting with people who live with mental illness.

Offer as much support as you can. Just be supportive. Don’t treat them differently. You don’t want to enable them to lean on this disability or use it as an excuse to not live life at its fullest. Because my mom has shown you can be a successful employee, successful mother, wife, or friend—all those things. You may not be able to be all those things, but you may be able to be one of those things. Maybe being a mother is too much. But maybe you can be a really successful friend or you can be a really successful worker. You can put all that energy into being a worker. Really support them the way that they need it. Maybe push a little bit, but not so hard that they stop coming to you. Listen well. Pay attention.


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