- Fay P.
One Voice Can Make a Difference
By Fay P.
As someone that suffers from mental health ailments, and in long term recovery, I never thought where I am now would be possible.
In 2019, I moved from my home, my family, and all of my friends. Starting over with alone, I signed up for the Strength to Succeed Program through my Family Resource Center which provides parents with parent partners to help navigate systems and support parents in reaching their personal goals.
Around this time I was switching my daughter's IEP over, and getting her diagnosed for ADHD, ODD, GAD, and a sensory delay. My parent partner walked me through everything and told me it was okay to be vocal on things. I still had so much anxiety, but when she brought me to a meeting where I heard the voices of other mothers sharing their stories, I saw the power in it. I began connecting with other moms and I started building my voice and a platform in my community. Together, we realized we were not being treated with respect by our schools and we addressed the issue.
Lindsay, my Parent Partner, also talked me into sharing my journey of recovery. I wrote it out for her to read but when she called to tell me that everyone was so impacted by the story and that The Doorways wanted to record me telling it to help others in recovery, I decided to tell the story myself. I was so nervous, I was physically sick on the way there. I called Lyndsay and once again she reassured me. The experience was incredibly nerve wracking but so empowering! I started seeing myself on TV and in the news.
My Family Resource Center had been there for me from start to finish. I reached out to the Director to thank her for everything and she started picking my brain on things from anti-bias training to understanding things from a parent’s view. I got up in front of 60 people and did a skit that I helped create, again seeing what my voice can do. I started working for the NH Charitable Foundation as a community listening member to research barriers that families like mine face such as lack of post-partum and mental health support.
This is how it starts in small communities. One voice talks about what is lacking, and then others get the fire they need to speak up, and it catches on. It only takes one voice to make a difference for so many.
When I realized how much I love working in the community, and how much my voice can truly make a difference in the world, I started speaking up for other families on so many different things! Each time these families told me their stories I could see a weight lifted from their shoulders.
It took one person encouraging me to speak that led to opening up so many doors. Today, I’m using my voice to make sure my child, and every child gets the care they need through their IEPs. I’m attending CRSW classes and I’m now becoming a Parent Partner to help other parents find their voices!
Each voice makes a difference, be it in their own lives, or in the lives of others. I’ll continue to use my voice to make a change! All of this started thanks to incredible programs that we have statewide that so many are unaware of and I couldn’t be more grateful!
Have a STORY of YOUR OWN? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear how you used YOUR VOICE to meet your family’s needs.