David Lilly is a certified recovery specialist and a certified peer specialist who works at Columbia MONTOUR Snyder and Union County Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Relationship. In this video, he shares his story of struggling with mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and ultimately finding hope and purpose in his work as a peer specialist.

David’s family and colleagues describe him as a kind and loving man who has always cared about others. However, David’s own struggles with mental illness led him down a dark path. He first began thinking about suicide when he was working at a hospital and felt the pressure of being away from his family for prolonged periods of time. He believed that his family would be better off without him and that he was dragging them down. This thought built up throughout the day until he grabbed his pills and rifle and planned to end his life.

Thankfully, David’s aunt found him before he could carry out his plan and took him to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a mental illness and began taking medication and receiving therapy. David believes that his life turned around when he took ownership of his illness and asked for help. He went back to school and eventually became a certified peer specialist.

David’s work as a peer specialist involves instilling hope in others who are struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts. He believes that people can and do recover and that his job allows him to make a difference in somebody’s life every day. David’s story is a powerful reminder that there is always hope and that reaching out for help is a courageous act that can save lives.

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