Cree and Shellisa Moore Share Their Journey to Recovery

Cree Moore is your every-day 20-year-old woman who loves working with animals and wants to major in zoology. She lives in Redding, Calif. with her family, including her mom, Shellisa Moore, a Healthy Shasta Coordinator for Shasta County Public Health.

In 7th grade, Cree began feeling anxious about her homework. She fell into the habit of not doing the work, and as her grades dropped she became increasingly depressed. She would retreat from loved ones and kept her feelings bottled up, even when her mom suggested they reach out to a counselor. Cree felt alone and the stigma she anticipated from others kept her from asking for the help she needed.

“My senior year at U-Prep there was a lot of pressure to get into college, and I was feeling a lot of anxiety. A month before my attempt, a teacher said in front of the whole class, ‘Do you want to fail this class?’ because I was doing badly, and it made me feel really terrible.”

Cree’s mom, Shelissa, understands the importance of communication when it comes to working through a mental health challenge, but she couldn’t get her daughter to talk about what she was feeling. After Cree’s attempt at self-harm, her mom felt helpless, both for her daughter and herself. It became a process of healing for the whole family.

“My husband and I started going to counseling, and it helped me understand why Cree felt the way she did, and the stages of what we were feeling.”

As a family, the Moore’s learned to talk about anything they might be going through, whether it is happy or painful. They now do “check-outs” together every night where they talk about their day and how they’re feeling. Together, they’ve learned to overcome the stigma of mental health challenges and focus on what’s important: recovery, renewal and enjoying life.

“At first, I was dreading the anniversary of her attempt, but our therapist suggested we make it a celebration of Cree’s life and how far she’s come. Now, we see it as the day of her rebirth.”

Cree and Shellisa are two of the faces featured in Shasta County’s Brave Faces exhibit. The Brave Faces Portrait Gallery use true stories of hope and recovery to fight stigma by improving our understanding of mental illness and suicide.

You can stand against stigma by sharing Cree and Shelissa’s story and their 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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