08/20/2014 05:43 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2014

How One Man Helps Others Suffering From Mental Illness

One man's struggles with bipolar disorder inspired him to help others suffering from mental illness -- by finding a way to connect with them directly.

Gary Hudspeth, a volunteer at the National Alliance of Mental Illness Helpline, joined HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd to discuss his role and the Alliance's mission.

“Essentially what we do is provide education, support and advocacy over the phone, email and through our blog that we have on the website,” said Hudspeth. “We do that, essentially, by putting people in touch with what programs we have -- like our family-to-family, our peer-to-peer -- and whatever other community resources they need at that point in time.”

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 15, Hudspeth understands the range of feelings callers might have.

“I didn’t really have the family support I needed,“ said Hudspeth. “It took a lot of work to sort through information and figure out, you know, what direction I needed to take to get my life on track.”

To hear more of the conversation, watch the full HuffPost Live segment here.