The best thing about the #MyMentalHealthStory campaign I launched in December of 2014 is I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. In this interview, get to know filmmaker, Jeff Holiday. Here Jeff shares what inspired him to become a storyteller and how his family's experience with mental illness and suicide has shaped the making of his short film, Boulevard.
My desire is to never lose that ability, that I never admit defeat, or become another name on the list of those who've lost the war on their minds. I hope that, as time goes on, and if the setbacks continue to occur, I seek not an exit but a welcome embrace. Until it is over, for better or worse, I will continue to chronicle my struggles, making them public in an effort to let you know you are not alone.
For parents of kids who are transgender, gender education alone isn't going to provide that reassurance. What I think would really help are more everyday success stories -- people who can show trans kids, their parents and society as a whole that being transgender doesn't have to forever define you (unless you want it to).
This needs to end now. Those of us with the resources to fight in any way need to continue to stand up to those who are actively working to see more trans people dead, and we need to be absolutely present with those trans people who, at any given moment, may have fewer emotional or material resources than we do.
It's been approximately nine months since I almost made a fateful decision to end my life. However, by fighting and willing myself to move forward, share my story, and not to give up on myself or my dreams, my life has led to positive unexpected outcomes. Today, I'm a better, stronger, and a more positive man than I ever thought I could be.
As the facts emerge surrounding Titi's passing, I hope that all, especially the black community, are moved to take action to significantly increase awareness and education surrounding mental health, illness and wellness so that we do not have to continue to mourn the passing of so many of our dynamic and extraordinary souls.
Last week we saw a perfect example of how screwed up priorities have gotten in Congress. When the financial sector demanded a provision weakening regulations on risky derivative trading, Congress obliged. When veterans asked for $22 million over five years for a suicide prevention program, Sen. Coburn blocked the entire bill.