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My Mental Health Journey: Personal RECOUNT

In this series dedicated to Mental Well Being, 2 LocalHood Members take us through their mental health challenge, what works for them and some helpful tips. Mental wellbeing is a sharing theirs, these strong women want to help decrease the social stigma attached to mental health issues and assure others going through the same path, that they are definitely not ALONE!!


Hello I’m Nicola Chan.

And I'm writing this article to talk about Mental Health. My Mental health.

So, my mental health journey hasn’t been the easiest one to be honest.

I was officially diagnosed with depression by my doctor only about two years ago.

Funny because I had personally realised I needed help since I was about 12 years old. That was when I first recognised the symptoms of depression having snuck up in my life.

I had been telling my mom and dad that I was depressed since about then. Unfortunately, they didn’t acknowledge what I was going through as a teenager. Acknowledge surely because of a lack of understanding. Whatever it was, to me as a growing kid it was very frustrating. I have been going through a lot of issues at home in recent years and needed a new perspective on life.

I think I did all the right things that I read or had been suggested. I kept myself mentally engaged, took up boxing, started a part time job to be financially independent and also became a part of a community that cares – I had a few actually, my church for example or LocalHood. But honestly these things didn’t help much. The feeling of sadness was persistent and accompanied me everywhere.

I reflected upon what could help me and decided I wanted to move to the US for a new life. US was not foreign to me as I lived there from the age of 12 to 22 and identify myself as American. My 2 brothers were in the US too!

However, convincing my mom to let me go was far from easy and took the longest time. Was she fearing an empty nest or didn’t think I was capable enough to take care of myself. Whatever it was, I stood my ground that moving to the US would be a good journey for me and my mental health. Finally, she relented!!

Since, I’m back in the US, my mental health has been in a much better place. I have been able to get back on my feet and I am much happier now than I have ever been. Of course, I do miss home a lot sometimes but I’m proud that I persisted in wanting to come here. I also determined to be in a better space mentally!

Mental health is looked at too much as a stigma in life and society says so but that is something that surprisingly do not pay attention too. Suicide among young people has happened way too much and it needs to come to a stop. Now!!

Parents, please listen to your children if they tell you that they need help and need to see a counsellor. Last thing you should do is to discount what they are saying. As parents you will get closer with your children and hear their side of the story. In my case, I had to help myself and push to have my own voice because my parents didn’t listen to me and looked at my mental health journey as a stigma. Sadly, Asian families do a lot of this and that is why suicide happens way too often among young teenagers and young adults in life.

Young people please reach out to Samaritan’s Purse counselling in Hong Kong if you need help if your family doesn’t listen to you. My mom finally got me help with a counsellor through this organization last year. It really helped to have someone to talk to.

Finally, I would say don’t wait to get help because you will thank yourself for your mental health journey will be much easier in the future. If you need medicine, do take it because it will help you have an easier type of life in the future.

Please reach out to me through this article or through LocalHood if you need any help or advice because I am here for you. Thanks for listening to me through this article!

Much love to everyone.


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