Doing the work

Monica Rosiak asked her family for help in high school.

With their support, she started seeing a therapist and learned how to manage her emotions. She learned just how resilient she could be, finding ways to cope with life’s ever challenging changes.

“It took a lot of work, and it still takes a lot of work. In the past, I hit a really low point where everything felt hopeless, and even though I was in high school, I still knew that it wasn’t normal to feel that way”.

Talk therapy paired with medication together helped her process negative emotions. She found rest and comfort in the process which helped her sleep well for the first time in a long time.

In college, Rosiak said that seeing a therapist helps her manage the stress of a full class load, changing social groups, and maintaining a work-life balance. She utilized her university’s counseling services who provided her with referrals for therapists in the area.

Rosiak helps others by being a resource and encouraging people to ask for help. “A lot of times the scariest part is taking that first step, so I try to be as supportive as possible,” Rosiak said.

“I am also extremely open [about] my own mental health experiences in hopes that it will encourage others to see that it is okay to talk about what is going on inside their heads.”

Along with being a personal advocate for mental health, Rosiak started volunteering with the Domestic Violence Intervention Program because she was interested in learning about domestic violence, bringing awareness to it and being a support to survivors. She interacted directly with survivors and their children since she was a volunteer in the local shelter.

“The people staying in the shelter showed me how resilient people can be and how there is such a need for shelters like DVIP,” she said.

Her advice for others who struggle is to call a friend, family member, partner, or another trusted individual to talk about how you are feeling and how it is affecting you. Opening up is the first step.

“What gives me hope is knowing that my personal experiences have made me stronger and they have made me into the person I am today. I was able to get out of a really dark place, and now I can only see brighter things ahead,” Rosiak said.