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“My Basic Response Was to Fight”
– Carol Myers Talks Mental Health with Dr. Phil
Carol Myers has made it her mission to fight against the stigma surrounding mental health discussions. Matthew Myers, Carol’s son, was a soldier for the National Guard when he died by suicide, and Carol noticed that discussions of trauma and mental health issues are often not an accessible topic for men and women in the military. Carol now spends her time spreading messages of awareness and acceptance.
“My basic response was to fight,” Carol said when I asked her about her volunteer work at The Kim Foundation, where she helps us raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention.
In addition to volunteering with The Kim Foundation, Carol has been involved in Survivor Cadres, a nonprofit organization specializing in suicide prevention for military members. Through her advocacy work, Carol was noticed by producers of Dr. Phil. Carol’s episode of Dr. Phil airs on March 16th, 2022, and the episode is centered around suicide survivors. I called Carol up and asked her about her experience on the show.
I first wanted to know what Carol would like viewers to take away from her experience with Dr. Phil. She immediately told me that she wants mental health to be put more into the forefront of society. She stated how important it is that everyone has access to mental health services. She mentioned that some people face socioeconomic issues or experience the stigma surrounding discussions of mental health. “We need to look at those barriers,” Carol said, “And make it easier for people to say hey, I need help. We need to bring down the barriers. That’s what I want people to take away.”
“One thing I said right away to the producers of the Dr. Phil show was ‘I am not a mental health professional, I’m just a mom,’” Carol added when I asked her what she would say to those presented with an opportunity to share their story. Carol is right— you don’t have to be a professional to talk about mental health. Our hope at The Kim Foundation is that everyone learns to openly embrace the importance of quality mental health services and prevention.
Carol then mentioned that getting involved with organizations like The Kim Foundation and Survivor Cadres gave her comfort when she needed it. She highlighted the importance of getting involved in a community with which you have shared experiences to spread messages of hope and recovery. She focused specifically on the significance of our LOSS team— “We need to connect people to LOSS teams because they need just one person they can grasp on to at that time,” she said. “LOSS teams are a lifesaver.”
To sum up her time with Dr. Phil and what she ultimately believes to be most important in advocating for mental health and suicide prevention, Carol said this: “We need to make [mental health] front and center. We need to take the stigma away, we need to provide more resources, and we need to take actual action now.”
To learn more about Carol’s story, tune in to Dr. Phil on March 16th at 3:00 PM CST.
Sadie Hinkel, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Sadie Hinkel is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Education from Morningside University and her Master’s Degree in Writing from Coastal Carolina University. Sadie worked as a high school English teacher for six years, where she realized her passion for advocating for mental health education and awareness. She joined The Kim Foundation in February of 2022 and currently works managing events for the foundation, coordinating volunteer activities, and developing outreach efforts.