“And I will forever love the people in my life who supported me when I felt like I was falling.” —Farah Kauffman
About this time four years ago, I was suicidal and hospitalized myself to get help. I was fortunate that I had support from my husband, family, and close friends — especially a close friend who said, yes absolutely go to the hospital — and that I had a truly positive hospital experience. I was taken seriously. I was not dismissed. I was treated with dignity. And when I advocated for myself and what I needed, people listened. Not everyone will have that experience. I’ve not always had that experience. But I did four years ago when it mattered most. From that experience, I’ve learned more about how I want to show up for others — not just in moments of crisis, but in all the moments. And I will forever love the people in my life who supported me when I felt like I was falling. Why am I sharing this here? Because this is part of who I am as a human being, which is not separate or different from who I am as a professional. The more we can show up as ourselves at work, and the more we can accept each other for who we are and what we bring, the better.
Farah has worked in public health for more than two decades, helping to facilitate organizational, community, and culture change in the areas of mental health, suicide prevention, substance misuse prevention, and obesity prevention.