Asking for Help and the Road to Recovery - NAMI-NYC

Asking for Help and the Road to Recovery

At the age of 24, Scott was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety. This diagnosis came after a history of personal challenges, including losing his mother at the age of 13 and his father a few years later. Scott’s mental health struggles affected him physically and emotionally, but he found support in a wonderful community in Rockland County, where families took him in from high school through college and helped him maintain stability in his life.

Despite the support he received, Scott found it difficult to ask for help when he needed it the most. He experienced extreme highs and lows, and struggled with depression that led him to hit rock bottom. However, with the help of his sister, who is in the mental health field, Scott realized he needed professional help and sought treatment at an inpatient facility for 28 days.

Scott’s experience with mental health challenges inspired him to become an advocate for mental health awareness. He got involved with NAMI-NYC about 5 years ago and prides himself on being a “stigma stomper.” Scott wants to help those who are struggling with their mental health and encourage them to seek help. Scott has been running to raise awareness and funds for NAMI-NYC’s free mental health programs.

Scott ran the NYC Half Marathon with NAMI-NYC in 2019 and is currently training to join NAMI-NYC again for the TCS NYC Marathon. When Scott first shared his story on social media, within just four days, he raised over $4,000. “I was amazed by the response. It shows how many people can relate to my story and have their own mental health challenges,” shared Scott. “To me, it’s not just about raising funds, but being vulnerable and sharing my story to break stigma.”

Scott is a training and development manager for Care Design New York, a care management non-profit organization. He delivers trainings to the organization’s 1,300 employees, as well as for individuals and families in Poughkeepsie, such as Mental Health First Aid. Scott believes that education and support for family and friends are crucial in understanding and supporting individuals with mental health challenges. “Family and friends want to provide love and support, but they can’t without the proper support, education, and understanding,” Scott said.

Scott’s journey has taught him the importance of asking for help. He knows that stigma surrounding mental health still exists, but he wants to encourage others to seek help when they need it. “Recovery is not only possible, but also probable,” shared Scott.

Scott lives with his wife Michelle and daughter, Madison. In his spare time, Scott is a volunteer EMT.