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National Alliance on Mental Illness highlights importance of providing resources for those in need

Valentine's Day is meant to be a day of love, but for some it can mean the opposite. We spoke with a local mom and columnist about the importance of mental health.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Valentines Day is meant to be a day of love, but for some it can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts. 

Local resident Heather Loeb has has been struggling with depression for the last 20 years. 

"For me I noticed that I isolate from people, my friends and family," Loeb said "I don't want to do anything, sleep more than I usually do, and that is a pretty good indicator that I am running on empty." 

Loeb spoke with 3News to discuss the importance of mental health, and how putting oneself first can mean a lot. 

"I didn't really understand why it was so important until I had kids," Loeb said. "I was mentally ill, still am, and I was focusing all on them, and I forgot about me. One of the parts of recovery with mental illness is focusing on yourself, self care, doing things you need to do."

Loeb added that at one point in her life she wasn't sure what resources were available to help her. The National Alliance on Mental Illness provided Loeb with the resources she needed to help get through her day to day life. 

Angela Horner with the Corpus Christi office for NAMI said that being able to voice your concerns is the first step toward recovery. 

"Being able to speak out and say yeah I take anti depressants or I struggle with anxiety," Horner said. "There's a lot of people that often say me too. Nothing to be ashamed of."

The organization is made up of volunteers and offers classes and support groups for those who experience mental illness and their families. 

"Were not going to solve problems, we are not professionals, we're all volunteers," Horner said. "And what qualifies us is our lived experience. We are here to say its okay, you are going through a rough time, let's talk about it."

Horner said the holidays can often be a trigger for those who live with depression and suicidal thoughts. Now in recovery, Loeb works with NAMI and has found blogging as an outlet to share her story.  She hopes of also saving others from the same thoughts that nerved her. Her blog is called 'Unruly Neurons'. Loeb also writes a mental health column in the Caller-Times and serves on State Representative Todd Hunter's Suicide Prevention Task Force.

"I get to tell whatever I want and it feels good getting it off my chest, I know there are others struggling like I do," Loeb said. 

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