TL;DR — I’m Benson, one of the co-founders of Prairie Health. As someone who struggled to seek psychiatric care, I’m proud to be a part of Prairie. We’re dedicated to making mental healthcare work for you by offering the kind of care that I wish I had. We are currently recruiting people for a pilot; feel free to check out our website for more information.

CW — I talk a lot about depression in this piece. I also talk a lot about where I think mental healthcare is bad. That said, if you are someone whose mental health adversely affects your day-to-day, I recommend seeing a professional. Every part of your journey can be difficult — from finding a place that takes your insurance to working with providers that may not understand you — but know that many people have been in our shoes, and that there is a way to feel better than you do today.

I’m not sure when I would say I started feeling depressed.

I know that, when I was an eighteen-year-old, I was so excited about everything. Everyday, I would wake up, and I couldn’t wait to start my day; there was just so much I wanted to do. I also know that, a few years later, there would be weeks where I could barely make it out of bed. But in the moment, it never occurred to me that I could be depressed.

Me, at 19, on the left. It’s a day I remember well, in part because it one of the few days I felt like myself,
the kind of day that started feeling less and less common over the years.
Unfortunately, my story is far from unique. Many people who seek treatment leave prematurely, as shown by the red and orange slices.
Data is based upon the STAR*D trial.