Jonathan GordonJun 12, 2018, 10:31 pmJun 13, 2018, 5:07 pm

One mental health advocate's story of trauma, recovery and support

Sharon McCarthy attributes her passion to help those with mental health issues to her own personal run-in with suicide

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ELMSFORD - Sharon McCarthy's daughter was just 16 years old when she tried to take her own life for the first time. That experience has driven McCarthy's work as a mental health advocacy expert. With her daughter now in recovery, McCarthy has become the executive director of the National alliance on Mental Illness Westchester as she looks to help others in the community.

"Often, I'm told that my experience gives them hope because I can tell them that my daughter is doing well," McCarthy told FiOS1 News.

In the United States, one in five adults experience a mental illness, 50 percent of them begin by age 14, and 90 percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has their own 24/7 text line where you can connect with a trained crisis counselor for free by texting "NAMI" to 741-741.

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