Christina DiArcangelo, CEO, Chairwomen of the Board, President of the Board
I have been impacted with mental health within my family since I was a child. Although, it was not discussed until I was 17 years old when I was graduating at the top 10% of my class. My Mother had been suffering from mental health illnesses and I never knew until one important day in my life. I was 17 and graduating from high school.
I remember working so hard to make my parents proud and pleased of my accomplishments. Then right before my graduation, I was told by my father that my Mom would not be attending my high school graduation wherein I was speaking and was given a scholarship. My Mom was not able to leave the house. She had multiple mental health diagnosis that were hidden by my parents my entire life.
I remember feeling anger, confusion, disappointed, rejected and upset. I had worked so hard my entire life to get here. I grew up not wealthy in a blue collar family and I had made something of myself. A couple of weeks later after my graduation, my Mom tried to commit suicide. From there, my life would never be the same.
There are many relatives in my family on both sides that suffer from mental health. I also suffer from PTS and anxiety. After I had my son I had a great amount of postpartum depression. My son also has six developmental disorders in the mental health therapeutic area and I work every day to ensure that he is stable and cared for.
Mental Health is not something that people talk about. There is still stigma surrounding this therapeutic area that deserves the utmost attention. It is time to give people a voice when they feel as though they do not have one. I am personally committed to helping all mental health patients that are referred to Affinity Patient Advocacy.