Harriet’s Story: From Client to Mental Health Facilitator

Harriet’s Story: From Client to Mental Health Facilitator

Before Harriet joined StrongMinds’ therapy group in 2017, her life was filled with pain and difficulty. As a single mother of twins, relying on her own twin brother for financial support, each day carried its struggles.

Harriet’s story became even more challenging when she lost her brother unexpectedly. Without warning, she was left alone to provide for her two young children.

From Client to Mental Health Facilitator: Harriet’s Story
StrongMinds Mental Health Facilitator, Peace Harriet Nyakato, proves recovery is possible through determination and peer support.

“When he passed, things became harder for me,” Harriet said. “I started asking myself, ‘What am I going to do? How will I go through this and take care of my children?’.”

Profound sadness coupled with sleepless nights and a loss of appetite eventually led Harriet to slip into depression.

Harriet said on some days, she felt like she’d “rather die” than deal with the debilitating symptoms. It wasn’t until a close friend noticed these changes in Harriet that she decided to seek treatment through StrongMinds.

Throughout 8-12 group therapy sessions, Harriet learned that she was most likely experiencing depression triggered by her grief. She appreciated her fellow group members’ advice and companionship as she began to map out her life’s next steps.

“I opened up with the support they gave me because I knew if I did not, I wouldn’t be able to heal. They supported me. We supported each other. And now, I am the Harriet you see today.”

When Harriet finished therapy, she said she felt like a new person. She quickly realized life would always come with trials, but supportive relationships can make them easier to overcome.

Post-treatment, Harriet went on to join StrongMinds as a Peer Facilitator. This allowed her to steer therapy groups within her community as a volunteer. After much success, Harriet went on to accept another StrongMinds opening in 2021. This time, as a paid Mental Health Facilitator.

“After therapy, I became depression-free, so I thought, why can’t I help others?”, Harriet said. “I knew that there was a great opportunity for me to excel higher. So, I said now I’m going to perform.”

Today, Harriet’s story is a joyful one still in the making. She describes herself as happy, able to provide for her children, and fulfilled by the clients she’s helped recover from depression. Harriet loves her job and is eager to continue serving more women in need of the vital therapy StrongMinds offers.