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Meet NAMI Iowa Fall Intern: Sarah

Hi all!

My name is Sarah Ashby. I am a 25-year-old Political Science major at Iowa State University and the newest member of the NAMI Iowa team!

I have been passionate about mental health for as long as I can remember. Having been diagnosed with ADHD, Chronic Depression, and Anxiety in grade school, and Borderline Personality Disorder in college, I understand, all too well, the struggles and frustrations that come from living with mental illness. Along with having multiple mental disorders, I also went to Southeast Polk High School, which was insensitively named “Suicide High” by a local news channel. During my time at Southeast Polk, I lost multiple classmates to suicide and witnessed, firsthand, the devastating effects it has on a community.

The first time I talked openly about my struggles with mental illness was at an assembly, in front of all 450 of my fellow 11th-graders, shortly after another classmate died by suicide. I had not planned on speaking at the assembly, but my feet carried me to the floor and as I quoted lyrics from one of my favorite songs, Crash and Burn, by Savage Garden, and opened up about my struggles with Depression, I looked up into the crowd, and saw one of our football players just bawling. In that moment, I understood the weight of my story and the importance of sharing it. I have been speaking out about mental health since that day.

I am extremely thankful to be able to work with NAMI this fall! With their focus on mental health advocacy and education, I think we will be a great fit. I am so excited to be able to share my story on this wonderful platform through a weekly blog that I will be writing, covering topics ranging from personal stories, tips and advice, and of course, I will be dedicating a post to my cat, Macie, who is not only my Emotional Support Animal, but also my best friend! I look forward to connecting with all of you and fighting the good fight to end the stigma surround mental illness!



A Few Fun Facts:

  • I’m a cat mom to Macie, the sweetest fur ball EVER!
  • My favorite color is mint (which is very obvious if you ever visit my apartment).
  • I was a varsity bowler in high school and a member of the 2010 State Runner-up bowling team.
  • I kind of have an obsession with shopping secondhand.
  • I know all the words to the Big Bang Theory Theme Song and will bust it out when necessary.
  • I own more cameras than pairs of shoes.
  • My mom is my best friend in the entire world.
  • If you like Lord of the Rings and burritos, we’ll definitely get along!

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