As we continue our look at the different aspects of tackling mental health issues, it’s important to understand that going down the rabbit hole doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

"The day-to-day here, it varies," said Mona Lisa McEachin, assistant program director at Best Self Recovery Community Center.

Different stories for different days - all for the same mission

"We're here to provide people recovery capital," she said.

McEachin helps deal that out daily with a common background.

"Everything here is peer-led and peer-driven because we share similar experiences, challenges," she said. "We hope to be able to provide you some encouragement, resources, and, most of all, just in that moment let you know that you are important and that you matter."

With one thing having led to another in her past, she took the long way to get where she is today.

"Hey, we're starting something at best, so I'll think you'll be great here, and I'm like, they're not going to hire me. I got a record so they won't hire me. And I was like, no, that's what we need," recounted McEachin. "Because that's what peers show up as their true, authentic self. We bring our past with us, but we bring our unique experience."

While time in and out of prison and using were the results, McEachin better understands how mental health may have been more of a cause than anyone would like to admit.

"And so as I begin to work on those things, I seen the stronger my recovery became with my substance use," she said.

Because when push came to shove, priorities in life would become clear.

"Always had a desire to be a mother to my children, but I couldn't show up for that. I couldn't keep a job," she remembered. "I went in and out of jail. So for 20 years I knew it was an issue. And 14 years ago, my daughter had to go to prison and my daughter asked me to take my grandson. And that was one of the best decisions I ever made."

It helped her find her best self and now she is helping others do the same.

"Always," she said. "You know, my past would haunt me because me holding my own self hostage to my peers feeling like a failure. And yeah, it was ups and downs. Because I still had to be a grandmother to my grandson - finding that balance - but still making sure I kept my recovery first. Who would have ever thought I would say God is funny. Whatever thought, he will put a spin on it and take the worst time of my life. Now take that to use it to help others."

All stories are different, but help is out there for those who reach out, no matter the chapter.

"So what I always see, I always see me in them. And so I know how we're nine times out of time," she aid. "Nine times out of 10 I can identify exactly where they're at. I can tell you what worked for me. Hopefully you might take that and use it, but at the end of the day, I don't care where you where I see you through a fresh set of eyes and I have no judgment. So I'm here to support you."