Meet Belinda

Persevering though adversity

Your support encourages women to never give up on themselves.

Belinda, like many young men and women, found herself at a house party in her early 20’s. Her life would never be the same. At the party someone slipped a hallucinogenic drug into her drink, triggering a chemical imbalance in her brain that led to her lifetime struggle with mental illness.

For some, that might be the end of the story, but not for Belinda. She did struggle for years, eventually leading her to, court appointed, Winnebago Mental Health Institute. Here, she was encouraged to be a better version of herself. “I went to treatment groups and eventually realized that mental illness is like diabetes. It’s a condition that can be managed. We all have flaws of some kind and being able to accept that allows us to be able to move forward.” After 11 years she left and moved directly into St. Catherine Residence.

At St. Catherine Residence she continued to grow both inside of herself and in the world. “The staff has always been very helpful, guiding me with my steps to move forward.” With the support of her case manager and through her own perseverance she was able to gain her first ever job as a peer support specialist, where she worked with people like herself, who were living with a mental illness. She quickly got promoted to supervisor. After three years Belinda moved out of St. Catherine’s, securing her own apartment. She not only worked but began to go to school. Managing work, school, and her mental illness became overwhelming but Belinda knew she had a support system to go to.

Belinda decided to move back to St. Catherine’s in the summer of 2018 and seek a little more help to stabilize herself. Since moving back she has been able to get her life back on track, securing a part-time job and going to school to complete her degree. “I figure I can do it this time because I have learned to manage my time better and don’t get overwhelmed as easily.”

At 52 years old, Belinda is full of hope. “I hold on to that knowledge of knowing where there is a will there is a way. Where there is an entrance there is an exit. I never give up on me.”