Caroline HeeJeon Gale
I am person with bipolar disorder and a suicide attempt survivor. Bipolar disorder has affected my family and me in many hard ways, but it has also encouraged my family to express how much we mean to each other, and how much I mean to them. I would not have made it through without their love and support, and I probably would not be here to tell my story if I hadn’t had the kind of individualized care I received from my county mental health system.
My family emigrated from Korea to the United States when I was 10 years old. As symptoms of my mood disorder surfaced within the next couple of years, my parents, whose primary language is Korean, had difficulty accessing resources in our community. They were supportive, but because of language barriers and unfamiliarity with the mental health care system, they had limited ability to act on their concerns and to help me. Without the aid of translators, my parents would be excluded from participating in my mental health care and treatment.