Spending 27 hours in the psyche ER might not seem like the ideal way to spend a holiday weekend, but it is essential for some like Rain who have been there before. Rain’s ER visits and hospital stays began as a teenager. Rain attended high-school in a small rural Missouri town of 3,200 in the heart of the Ozarks. Rain did well navigating the typical challenges of adolescence - impressed their teachers with their creative talents in the written and visual arts, graduated with honors, and made a strong impression on their friends as someone kind, caring, generous, loyal, dependable, sometimes silly, creative and fun. The innately introverted Rain really impressed by performing one their favorite 21 Pilots songs, self-accompanied on ukulele, at the school talent show. Thank you H. Sartin for those music lessons!
I mention this musical performance because not only does it represent Rain’s willingness to set and meet a personal challenge, it also gave Rain a brief platform to stand up for a cause that is still heavy on Rain’s heart - mental illness. Rain wrapped up their musical performance that December day with a heartfelt message to the audience to be kind to one another especially at the holidays because we don’t know what others are going through.
“Rain is among the most compassionate and empathetic people I’ve met. They exemplify continual support for others and a constant mission to make people all around them feel loved, noticed and appreciated.” - E. D., friend
“Bright, articulate, sweet, wonderful and one of my favorite kiddos, ever!!!” S. S., former teacher
“Rain is a wonderful light. Rain as a person is very wonderful and inspiring and even when times are tough I’m constantly proud.” - E. G., friend
Rain’s friends and family are constantly proud, and there is much to be proud of. Rain is actively compassionate. Rain is a protector of the vulnerable even when Rain is at their most vulnerable, like during a particularly difficult week when Rain cared for and fed an orphaned baby possum in between trips to the ER. Rain does their very best to create safe places for animals and people.
As many of us know, the LGBTQ is a particularly vulnerable population. Rain met several LGBTQ friends and acquaintances in high-school. Rain made it their goal to create a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) - a club of LGBTQ and allies joining together for mutual support, learning, sharing, advocacy and fun. Rain made that GSA happen, organized meetings and parties, and did research to share inspiring stories of LGBTQ heroes of the past. Rain put their heart and all their emotional energy into this club and, tragically, this is when Rain first needed hospitalization for mental illness.
As a minor, Rain’s hospital expenses were covered by state Medicaid. Now, as a responsible, independent adult who worked to pay for college, holds a steady job, pays rent, utilities, car loan, etc., and plans and saves up for big purchases, Rain has their own health insurance which helps pay for hospital stays, but it doesn’t cover everything.
Rain is currently receiving inpatient hospital care. A discharge date has not been determined. This stay will add thousands to their already existing medical debt. These hospital bills take a big emotional toll on an emotionally unwell Rain because it feels to them like being punished for being sick. Rain was asked to make a down-payment of $300 for their upcoming care and broke down in tears. They have to figure out a way to pay $191 a month to reach their deductible before the end of the year. A psych patient teetering on the edge, and already scraping by paycheck to paycheck SHOULD NOT be burdened with the extra stress of figuring out where in the world to come up with an extra $191 a month, when they are already burdened with figuring out how in the world to pay this month’s rent and expenses. Rain has no paid sick time or paid leave benefits.
The Money - this is why so many people do not seek the help they need. Rain has been seeing a therapist for years and taking prescribed mood medication, but still finds themself teetering on the edge on a regular basis. Rain thought about taking a break and seeking extra help, but they constantly worried about the cost. Like many others in the same situation, it took a total break-down to force them into the hospital.
As I’ve already mentioned, Rain is a giver. Rain is a protector of the vulnerable. Right now, Rain is in a vulnerable place and can use some help. Your contribution to Rain’s treatment would mean a huge burden lifted off Rain’s shoulders. It would free up all the headspace Rain now uses worrying about money and debt for a better purpose - focusing on their own recovery.
Those who know Rain know that the world is a better place because our sweet and silly, loving, caring Rain is in it. Rain needs a reminder that the world is a safe place for sweet and silly, loving, caring folks, who happen to struggle with mental illness. Please give generously. You’ll be helping a person who loves to help. Knowing Rain, I have no doubt that Rain will continue to advocate for mental health awareness. Rain will continue to create safe places for the vulnerable. Rain wants the world to be a kinder place. Rain knows there are many people who NEED the world to be a kinder place and Rain will fight for that. That’s who Rain is.
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