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What Makes Us

Recently I was asked by The Wellbeing Partners to participate in their #WhatMakesUs campaign by submitting my personal story about living with mental illness. I was so honored to be asked to share. The more we all talk about our mental health journeys, the more okay it becomes to do so. Together, we can break down that stigma!

This is my story:

My name is Molly and I’ve lived with depression and anxiety almost my entire life. I don’t often discuss it with people I don’t know very well. When someone learns this about me, they are usually surprised. “But you’re so cheerful all of the time,” is a common response I get. I then kindly assure them it is possible for someone with depression to be in a good mood and happy! I just have to work a little harder at it than some.

I was lucky enough to have a mom who recognized early on that my struggle with anxiety was real. She never made me feel like my feelings were wrong or dumb. Whenever my feelings were scaring me, she made sure I knew she wasn’t scared. My mom gave me the confidence to speak to my doctor and begin taking medication. She helped me see that my conditions weren’t my fault – something very real was happening in my brain. Would I be embarrassed if I had to take medicine for my heart or my liver? No! Then I should never be ashamed of taking medication for my brain.

As my biggest advocate, my mother empowered me! But not everyone has that kind of encouragement in their lives. A lot of people don’t have an advocate in their corner or someone to tell them that what they are feeling is okay. That’s why I love what I do. As an outreach coordinator for The Kim Foundation, I get to work toward breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental illness. I have the amazing opportunity to educate audiences about the importance of mental health and provide hope and the encouragement they might need to advocate for themselves and others. With proper treatment, we can go from struggling with a condition to living fulfilling lives with our conditions – and without any shame.

Molly Woodman is one of the Outreach Coordinators at The Kim Foundation. Born and raised in Omaha, she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from UNO. Molly spent fourteen years as the Director of Admissions and Recruitment at an area private high school. Her passion for public speaking and mental health advocacy led her to The Kim Foundation in August of 2022. Molly manages the foundation’s social media accounts, sits on the steering committee for the Metro Area Suicide Prevention Coalition, and provides mental health awareness and suicide prevention education to the community through the Encouraging Hope presentations. Molly is certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid and a certified instructor for Adult Mental Health First Aid. When she’s not working, she loves spending time being silly with her husband and four kids!