While those in the city of Newtown, CT try to heal after a school shooting massacre, in Greenville County, Kelly Troyer battles mental illness everyday.
She works for those who need help and for her 19-year-old son Alex.
"Two weeks ago, he played his first basketball game," Troyer said.
She's a family advocate for a program called Breaking Boundaries and works with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, known as NAMI in Greenville.
"We do have Medicaid waivers here in our state for children who are uninsured," Troyer said.
She said there is help for children under 18 years old, but when those children become young adults, it gets more difficult.
"With the knowledge I have, who I know and the means that we have available to us that most people do not have, it has been near to impossible to get the help that needed," Troyer said.
She said unfortunately, there's a stigma with mental illness and there aren't resources to help treat it like there are for other diseases.
"There are times when the light switch flips and he gets very highly agitated. It scares me, it's scary, it's scary to be around him when that happens. He destroys property when that happens sometimes and we end up in the emergency room," Troyer said.
However, she said most of the time, her son is loving, sweet and caring. He just made a mosaic paper towel holder for a Christmas gift and played in a church league basketball game Monday night.
She said lawmakers have the power to make changes and support those who are suffering.
"What better gift is there to give someone than a sound mind so they get medicine and treatment," Troyer said.
She said NAMI provides educational programs for parents and there are other cities in the state where mobile crisis units are used, instead of police cars when someone suffers from an episode.
Troyer said those mobile crisis units come equipped with therapists and doctors. She said there needs to be more funding from the state for facilities and support from the community.
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