Jack Halli makes living with mental illness look easy, though we know it's not. Like many others, Jack spent years wrestling with treatment and recovery. Today, Jack is on a solid path to achieve his dream of becoming a mental health advocate and public speaker.
Getting here was not easy. Jack was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he spent most of his first year in an orphanage. He had failure-to-thrive when he was adopted. The complex trauma of his birth story would dorment Jack for decades.
Severe depression anxiety haunted Jack's infancy and toddler years. During grade school, Jack struggled with depression and social phobia. In middle school, Jack was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Through high school, suicidal thoughts and behaviors were frequent.
Jack works hard at recovery. Medication, therapy, routine, substance-avoidance and support evolved into a treatment plan that would allow Jack to be his best. Disciplined self-care creates opportunity for pursuing passions like basketball and mental health advocacy.
Last year Jack accomplished more for mental health advocacy than most do in a lifetime. He was in a BC2M music video, shared his story with multiple audiences, and participated on two NAMI panels. Jack is currently working towards becoming a Certified Peer Specialist.
I am proud to nominate Jack Halli for the 2017 "I Am The Evidence" Award. Jack exemplifies the award. Finally, I couldn't be prouder to know Jack and call him my son.