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Carpenters Benefit Plans | May 20, 2024

Hold On Pain Ends

“Cynthia” is a member who works in an office environment. To raise awareness about mental health, she reported to her employer that she has struggled with mental health on and off for much of her life. She is feeling much better through coping skills she has learned through her journey and wants to use her story to help others.

A Member’s story.
Cynthia has struggled with mental health since she was 14 years old. At first signs, she got into counseling and was prescribed medication to help, but that was a temporary fix. By the age of 16, Cynthia came up with a plan to end her life. She wrote a goodbye letter to her parents, which they fortunately found, and took her to the hospital. Cynthia was in a hospital for a week and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration (NIH). 

Since she that time, Cynthia was prescribed several different medications to determine which one works best for her. She has experienced many ups, downs and struggles, even into her adult life. When she was 28, she reports that everything came to a breaking point. Cynthia knew she needed to get help and went to a psychiatric urgent care. There she was diagnosed borderline personality disorder, a mental illness that severely impacts a person’s ability to manage their emotions, increasing impulsivity, affecting relationships, and opinions of self (NIH). With her new diagnosis, Cynthia was able to get the right medicine! In the past three years, through proper use of her new medication, as well as faithfully seeing her psychiatrist and therapist, she has made great progress. Of course, she still has harder days, but she also has learned what helps get her through her darker days. She always tells herself to have H.O.P.E (Hold On Pain Ends) and this too shall pass. And always, it does.

Cynthia’s additional coping tools include:

  • A hot shower or bath with stress relieving music and scents
  • Coloring
  • Watching happy shows, TV or movies
  • Practicing mindfulness to reduce anxiety

Cynthia is proud to say, “I am living proof that no matter the bad spot you are in, no matter how depressed you are or how bad those thoughts can get, if you will hold on and get through them, you can and will get better.”

How can you help?
If someone you know is struggling, you may feel it’s hard to talk to them, or know what to say. Here’s some tips:

  • talk to them in private
  • listen to their story
  • tell them you care about them
  • ask if they are thinking about suicide
  • encourage them to seek help
  • avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice

Mental health resources
National Emergency or 24/7 assistance
Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988

Mercy Member Assistance Program (MAP)
Call 1.800.413.8008, #2

UMR Behavioral Health

Teladoc Behavioral Health
Call 1.800.TELADOC (835.2362)

All STLKC and National help line information is posted on on the Mental Health page.

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