Amanda Flowers Peterson Finds Hope

Amanda Flowers PetersonStand Against Stigma of Shasta County, Calif.  features the Brave Faces Portrait Gallery, which uses true stories of hope and recovery to fight stigma by improving our understanding of mental health challenges and suicide. This is the story of Amanda Flowers Peterson. You can view her gallery, along with many more inspiring stories, in the Brave Faces Portrait Gallery today.

Amanda Flowers Peterson is a vibrant woman from Minnesota who now lives in Shasta County with her loving husband and two little boys. She moved to Redding in 2013 and works as a Community Health Advocate for Shasta County.

Amanda loves to dance, and she has used dance since she was young to cover up the emotions she felt about the abuse she was enduring at home. On top of struggling through emotional, physical and sexual abuse, she had to cope with the death of her best friend.

My life has been about redefining what it means to be strong. In my family, it meant only the strong survive. But I’m realizing true strength is so much more than survival. It’s about fighting for the beautiful things in life every person deserves to have.”

Amanda felt stigmatized as an African American woman, and didn’t want to reach out for help because she thought it would make her look weak; but she wanted to know what made the people who were abusing her turn to that kind of darkness. She became curious about mental health challenges, and began to realize that she too needed help and that it was OK to ask for it.

When I went to college, I began to realize and accept that I had some anger issues due to my past. I made the decision to get help. However, I didn’t want to focus on how I was abused. Instead, I wanted to figure out how to have a healthy and happy life.”

She spoke with many therapists before she found one she loved, but she never gave up on finding someone who she knew could talk to her and help her the way she needed. Amanda has now become a voice for the voiceless, and wants to help others get the support they may be too afraid to ask for.

You can stand against stigma by sharing Amanda’s story and her portrait gallery. Do you have a story of hope and recovery? Each Mind Matters wants to hear it. Share it with us so it can inspire others.

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