MARYSTOWN, NL — It couldn’t have been easy, but Jimmy Bonnell went public with his personal struggle with mental health issues in a Facebook post on May 9.
“I was on Facebook and I seen a lot about mental health awareness, and I guess where I struggle so long – so hard for so long and then I decided to come out,” the 18-year-old year old told The Southern Gazette on May 11.
“I wasn’t very public about it, it was between me and my parents — my best friend might have known. I felt like I was alone for so long and I said, ‘Well, if I can put it on Facebook and get even one or two comments, at least people will know then that they’re not really alone, (even) if they think they are.”
Bonnell said his motivation for going public with his story was not to draw attention to himself, but rather to help raise awareness to the struggles people go through with mental health issues.
“I just wanted people to realize that there is someone there for them,” he said. “I bottled myself up in my room, I probable came out for supper and that was it. I would come out and get supper and go back in the room.”
Bonnell was placed on suicide watch this past November.
“I tired to overdose on my blood pressure pills,” he explained. “It was raining, horrible day out by the door. Mom and my brother came out to try and find me. Mom found me after (that) we went up to the hospital and I was up there for the night. Then they sent me to town (St. John’s) the next day, and then I got sent home from there.”
Bonnell views that as a turning point in his life.
“It opened my eyes to say that I got to change, because I seen how upset mom and my family was, cause they already lost a daughter, so I didn’t want them to go through that pain again,” he said.