Find Help, Find Hope!

Self-Expression Challenge

We Want to Hear From YOU

Throughout May, NAMI Gulf Coast is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by challenging YOU to express yourself! Share ways you are expressing yourself and maintaining positive mental health while facing the challenges of COVID-19. Whether that be trying a new recipe, painting, playing the guitar, or writing a poem. NAMI GC and our community want to know ways you’re coping!

Tag us on Facebook @NAMIGulfCoastTX, Twitter @NAMIGulfCoast, and Instagram @NAMIGulfCoast_TX with a picture of your creative creations! You could be featured on our website and social media!

“Being 27, and moving to Texas without really knowing anyone was hard at first.  I moved from Pennsylvania in January 2019. I am diagnosed with Social Anxiety disorder and Depression. I get extremely anxious around groups of people, and I am always afraid that I am being judged for what I am thinking, so I tend to hold my thoughts in. Because of the nature of my work/career, I have to interact with people everyday. I honestly struggled with communicating for a while, and wanted to give up. I knew that I had to reach out and get help. I started attending the Galveston Support group in September 2019. I really did not know what to expect, but after my first group, I knew I wanted to attend more group sessions. The group has honestly changed my life and for the better. Everyone just has been really supportive and we are always checking in on one another. It’s because of this group, that I’ve found many friends and people I am close with today.  I really try to implement what is being said to me, and use it when I leave the group sessions.  It’s not as easy as it seems either. I still get anxious and nervous, and I still hold my thoughts in from time to time. But it’s about progress not perfection. In my free time, I love to paint and it is what calms me. I usually give my paintings away because they bring me so much joy. I also write poetry, and I journal every day. Having to find a balance between my job and personal life has been hard, but it is something that I am working on every day. I always say everything happens for a reason. I am extremely grateful for the support groups, the bonds I’ve created through them, and all of the validation and support given. It’s truly why I am still pushing forward today!” – Galveston Support Group Member

“My name is Keaton Jones and I am a former NAMI volunteer. I struggle with mental illness, being diagnosed with Bipolar and Major Depression. I was volunteering with NAMI for awhile until I was able to find work and get back into school, and I found it difficult to spare time to volunteer, although I was always grateful for the opportunity. Before I volunteered, I’d moved back in with my folks after being homeless for a period of time, and found it very challenging to get motivated to do anything, even getting up out of bed. NAMI gave me a great place to springboard my life back on track. During this time of quarantine, I’ve been spending time on my music, and putting videos up on YouTube.” -Keaton Jones

“My name is Justin Hayes.  I was diagnosed with Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder almost 3 years ago.  Before then, I took my mental health for granted and didn’t want to believe I had mental illnesses due to a variety of reasons.  But in November 2017 I was faced with the reality that either I accept treatment for my newly diagnosed mental illnesses or the reality I may not have made it.  Since then, on my path of recovery which includes earning certification in Mental Health First Aid, I have accepted my mental illnesses, the continued professional help and the platform to help others in any way that I can.  One way I am helping others is through the autobiography of my mental health and mental illness journey titled ‘Prescription For Living: The House of You®.’  3 years ago I faced an uncertain future.  Now the only uncertainty is how many people I am going to be able to help.

Please join me in sharing my message of hope and inspiration.”

– Justin Hayes