Speaker. Advocate. Writer.
Mother. Wife. Creator.
I want to reach someone who needs to hear my message of hope so they will know they are not alone, to change the way you think about mental health, and to spark a conversation with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Together, we can help rid the world of the shame and stigma that surround mental health.
Family is at the center of all that I do. It has fueled me in my work in corporate America. It led me to find my voice through my writing and advocacy.
My two sons and husband, TJ, are my heart and my soul. I wasn’t sure about having a second child because I thought I could never love another child like I loved my first one. With our second son, I learned “love isn’t finite; love expands.”
Our family’s deeply personal journey through depression with my younger son made me a passionate mental health advocate. It is my mission to remove the shame and stigma that needlessly surround mental health.
I am so glad that you are joining us on our journey. This journey has taught me so much about myself, about love and compassion and that everything will be okay. It may not be perfect. It may not be what you thought it would be, but it will be okay.
I am a Southern girl born and bred but did a stint in NY and NJ after meeting my husband. Having known each other for a mere 6 months we eloped – 31 years later it’s still one of the best decisions we ever made! With our two sons grown and on their own, we are empty nesters.
Still at home are our beloved pups Layla, a gigantic Harlequin Great Dane and Otis a tiny black and white Chinese Crested who find it hilarious to run through my home office when I’m on an important client call.
I was raised by parents who loved each other deeply and showed me what unconditional love is. When I met my husband, I knew deep in my soul that we would be together for the rest of our lives. We believe that being married means being a good team, taking on life together, and bringing out the best in each other.
Our family's journey with depression began a little over 5 years ago when our son Will walked into my room and asked, “Mom, can we talk?”
It has changed our lives forever. I was aware of depression and anxiety – even personally familiar with mental health and mental health issues – but somehow when this happened with Will…everything changed.
Will is thriving now and we are on a mission to speak openly and stand up for those who haven’t yet found their voice. He enjoys watching F1 racing and cooking and eating excellent food! In fact, we've been known to plan vacations around eating at a specific restaurant. He loves city living and plans to never have to own a car.
Will is everywhere on this website, from inspiring our journey to the photographs we have chosen. He is a part of this work and a part of me.
I am forever grateful for his astonishing courage, for his trust in his family, and for shining a light into the darkness.
In his own words
Everyone needs a guide and a shoulder to rest on. I could not have been more lucky in having such an incredible family through this journey. My parents made this ephemeral pain I felt something we could understand and work through. I started as a kid trying to make sense of my world and ended up feeling the daylight again.
- Will Hargen
A Word on the Dandelion
The dandelion is such an unassuming little flower. And yet most of us were taught that when you pick one and make a wish, then take a deep breath and blow, all its seeds scatter in the wind, and your wish will come true. Can you imagine such hope in a tiny flower?
The dandelion shows us that life is a balance of holding on and letting go – after the golden yellow flower blooms, the seeds can be scattered far and wide with a simple breeze and thousands of new dandelions grow again.
Just like our hopes and dreams – we must send them out into the world so they can flourish.
We can stand grounded and still reach for the stars.
We can hold our loved ones tight as they venture out and make their own way in the world.
We can hold onto to today while making plans for our future and all the possibility it holds.
The beautiful petals and greens can be used in recipes or steeped for tea – there is nothing that is wasted just like the way we spend our time – some things work out and others don’t but nothing was wasted because we learn from our successes and our failures.
So, the next time you see a dandelion, take a moment to reflect on all that it represents.
Then hold it up, make a world of wishes, take a deep breath, and let it all go. Then watch as your wishes are carried with the wind knowing that you are planting the seeds of your dreams….
Here's to your future and all the possibility it holds!
See if you can find the two hidden hearts...