Mental health challenges and depression affect 1-in-5 Mainers (21%), and rates of depression among Maine high school students have been increasing in recent years, with more than a quarter reporting feeling so sad or helpless for at least two weeks in the past year that they stopped doing their usual activities. Even with access to care, getting the support and help one needs can seem like an impossible feat. Luckily, there are resources available to help connect Mainers with the support that they need.
Nikki is a champion for access to services and thriving communities. But, even someone like Nikki who is knowledgeable of resources like 211 Maine, it can be hard to ask for help finding support.
Nikki struggled with depression and her mental health throughout her life. When she became pregnant with her daughter Andrea, she knew it was likely that she would experience some depression, but she wasn’t prepared for the sadness and isolation she felt after Andrea was born.
Nikki shared, “I was numb. I didn’t know what I needed, and my husband didn’t know how to help. I felt so alone.” Nikki knew 211 was a resource, but even picking up the phone to make a call felt impossible.
So, she texted 211.
She asked if there were support groups for postpartum depression nearby. The 211 Maine Specialist texted her the name of a local group and contact information for the facilitator. She began attending the next week.
Meeting other women with similar challenges and talking about their experiences made all the difference. “If it hadn’t been for the easy, anonymous way I could reach out and get the information and support I needed, I never would have, and I don’t know what my life would look like today,” said Nikki.