HELENA – Helena’s own Bella Nyman has been selected as the Shodair Children’s Hospital’s 2019 Children’s Miracle Network Champion.
Bella’s symptoms started when she was in first grade with fears, worry, stress and panic attacks.
The 16-year-old was diagnosed back in second grade with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and separation anxiety.
“If it weren’t for Shodair, I would not be here today,” said Nyman.
“Mental illness does not discriminate,” said Nyman. “I now have a better perspective on life. The psychiatric care at Shodair provides the opportunity to learn how to manage mental health issues and have hope for tomorrow.”
Nyman says thanks to the team at Shodair and the support for her family, she’s learned valuable skills and truly believes Shodair saved her life.
“Shodair is saving children’s lives. I think it’s a big thing to recognize that there are patients here that are on their last straw and they’re getting them through it. That’s huge,” said Nyman.
According to the CDC, around 1 in 6 children in the United States has a diagnosable mental disorder.
Nyman’s hope is that her story will inspire others to break the stigma surrounding mental health and let people know they’re not alone.
“I want them to feel like they’re not alone and to know that there’s people out there who are feeling what they feel and they can get through it. I that’s a big thing because people know other people are feeling it but they don’t feel like they can get through it and so it’s really important that people recognize that it’s going to be okay,” said Nyman.
Once Nyman finishes her schooling at the Project for Alternative Learning (PAL) she aspires to go to cosmetology school and continue to advocate for mental health awareness.
“Bella represents an entire population of young people struggling with mental illness in Montana and the hope that can be found at Shodair,” CEO Craig Aasved said.
Shodair is the only Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospital in Montana and the only behavioral health facility in CMN.
More information about Shodair Children’s Hospital and the services they provide can be found here.