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Kimberly Phillips - Brave Faces Portrait Gallery

“My name is Kimberly, and I was diagnosed with bipolar 19 years ago. It was devastating. I didn’t want to admit I had a mental illness. There’s still a lot of stigma to overcome, but talking to my friends and family helps."


 

“After I gave birth to my son, I was up for four days with no sleep. I had racing thoughts, and I tried to call the president. Another time, I heard a voice that told me to disrobe in public. My sister and mother told me I had to go the hospital.

I’m grateful my family was there during that time. When you’re hospitalized for a long time and separated from your family, you feel like you’re in jail. But you still have your goals and your dreams. That’s why hope is such a big thing.” 


 

 

 

“I think there are a lot of people who are in denial. Denial is big, and we have to help people get out of denial. Mental illness is a lifetime illness. You have to deal with it on a daily basis, like diabetes.


When people meet me today, they’re shocked to learn I have a mental illness because I’m doing so well. It shows you can’t judge a book by its cover. And those people who seem like they might be doing well? We don’t know what struggles they’re going through.” 
 


 

 

 “What got me better? The medication helped. Good doctors. I think sincerity and compassion are awesome words. My sister has always been there for me. My artwork has been a good friend to me.


Second Home is a drop-in center where I do a lot of artwork. It’s a home away from home. It’s a place to grow. The people there help you work your way back into society so you can achieve your goals and dreams."


 

 

 

“Sherrie is one of the angels in my life. She has a lot of compassion and intelligence. On Saturdays at Second Home, we’ll sit and sew and watch movies and just talk. I can tell her anything. She’s like a sister to me." 


  

“Sometimes all people can see is the illness, but we have great intelligence and abilities. At Second Home, I feel like people see me for who I am.

 

One in four people have a mental illness. People don’t realize how rampant it is. The silver ribbon is for mental illness, and I want to see the silver ribbon just as popular as the yellow or pink ribbons. I want to help people know that there is hope if you believe it.”