Teri Koski knew she had issues with depression, but she kept them to herself when she moved to a new city and started a new job. When her depression started causing issues at work, though, Koski’s supervisors called her in to find a solution. “We don’t want to fire you,” they said, and at that moment, Koski recognized she was struggling and decided to open up about her depression and mental illness. Koski started seeing a therapist, and not only was she able to save her job, but she was able to get back to a happy place.

“If my supervisors had never sat me down that day, I don’t know if or when I would have started therapy. I don’t think I ever would have brought up my mental illness to them either. Bringing such a personal part of my life into the workplace just seemed unnecessary and unnatural. Mental illness is an uncomfortable topic to discuss with anyone, let alone someone whose respect and trust you’ve worked to earn,” Koski says. Yet because of her bravery in opening up, she now has support at work and is able to get the resources she needs to manage her mental health.

Koski is now an advocate for mental health awareness making presentations at work and even becoming the president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Spokane.

After one of her presentations, a co-worker told her, “You’ve just said what I can’t say yet,” and these kinds of interactions inspire Koski to continue talking to others about leading a full life and improving mental health. “It's been incredibly empowering, and it's reminded me to keep fighting the stigma surrounding mental health.”

Read more about Koski’s experience in the Women’s Health article, 'How I Told My Boss About My Depression'.