I’m Ellie Coe, and I’m working with Riverbend to speak out about mental illness and let people know that treatment works. Having mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It shouldn’t be hidden. I know that I need to talk about it. We all need to talk about it. Mental illness is part of my story, and I’m proud to share my story with you.
I live with my Mom and step-Dad and my dog Apollo. I’m 18 and am looking forward to my high school graduation in June. I want to be an author and a motivational speaker. ■ I have bi-polar disorder. I started having problems in school when I was little. I remember I would be hyper all the time and have trouble sitting still. Sometimes I’d be kind of uncontrollable — and then the next minute I’d be really sad. It’s a chemical thing in my brain. There are good times and bad. ■ Last year was really hard. I attempted suicide and was hospitalized three different times. ■ I need to manage my bi-polar differently, and my Riverbend counselors have helped me develop a bunch of new coping skills to center and calm myself when things are hard. It’s taken a lot of practice, but it really helps!
Click on the picture to watch my video and learn more about me.
Everybody needs coping skills. Coping skills are important for me to manage my bi-polar disorder. They help me focus my mind and de-escalate the situation. ■ My counselor at Riverbend helped me develop a whole bunch of things to do when I need to. She helped me understand my triggers and how to respond to them — like wrapping myself in my weighted blanket (I LOVE my weighted blanket!!!). ■ Coping skills are like sports. I practice them. The more you practice them the better they work and the better you feel.
Click on the picture and watch my video and learn more of the things I do to calm myself. Maybe they’ll be helpful to you, too!
Exercising is really good for your mental health and your physical health because it releases endorphins – and that helps you feel better. When I’m jittery I know moving my body helps — so I get up and walk or skip down the hall to get my mind focused. ■ I do soccer, basketball, snowshoeing, and track. In 2014 I was selected to represent New Hampshire at the National Special Olympics, and I was on this amazing basketball team and we got really close. Yes, we won the gold medal! ■ I have some really great friends and we’ve gotten really close through sports. My friends are supportive of me and they’ve been with me through everything — and I love when we hang out and get silly and watch movies and stuff.
Click on the picture and watch my video to learn more about the importance of exercise.
Riverbend is able to help me because of the generous support from people like you. And I am really, really grateful for that. Please consider a gift to Riverbend so that all kids who are really having a hard time, like I was, can get the help they need.