MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — One Morgan County couple is speaking about their mental health journey and how they want to be a voice for those who are also dealing with mental health issues.
Chad Farley, Jessica Farley, and Brandie Powell have all struggled with their own mental health journey, but the three lean on each other when times get tough.
“It’s probably one of the biggest components of mental health treatment is a support system,” said Powell.
Chad’s journey started after 9/11. During a mission for the Air Force, he was injured in the line of duty. His aircraft started losing fuel and it was his job to stop it.
”For 9 1/2 minutes, I ended up ingesting and being soaked in JPHF fuel which certain chemicals within that makeup attacked a lot of my central nervous systems resulting in losing most of my sight, most of my hearing, seizures. The list goes on,” he explained.
Along with physical injuries, he also struggles with PTSD.
“The struggle with the VA is real. It’s a struggle to get them in for their appointments, it’s a struggle to find a provider, and then once you find a provider the provider changes within weeks or months,” said his wife, Jessica.
While Jessica and Chad were dealing with his struggles and trying to find resources, little did Chad know that his experiences would help his wife down the road. Just last year, Jessica was diagnosed with acute psychosis.
“I have never heard of acute psychosis. I didn’t know what it was but in the research 1 in 33 adults suffer from it. It’s more common than we think, but basically, it’s your reality is gone. You’re hallucinating, you’re seeing delusions. And I mean, mine started off just out of the blue. I mean I was under a lot of stress, I had just got over COVID, but it started off with my taste being off,” she said.
It’s been one year since Jessica began treatment. As a group, the three decided to get involved with mental health organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. However, they believe there is a need for more resources.
”After getting involved with ASFP and meeting other families I just realized how common some of the same issues are,” said Powell
These three have each other to lean on and they want to let others know they are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help.
“There’s probably no one on this earth that doesn’t struggle from something mental health associated,” said Chad.
Jessica added, ”it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It doesn’t mean that you’re less than or invaluable. It’s creating a support system that you need.”
The couple has started to create a campground for those who also struggle with mental health. You can find out more about Freedom Hills Campground here.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or the Tennessee statewide crisis line at 855-CRISIS-1 or text *T-N* to 741-741 for 24-hour help. The McNabb Center also has a crisis line that can be reached at 865-539-2409.