Tosha Maaks Volunteer Program Coordinator for Hope for Bipolars and Hope for Bipolar Loved Ones & President of Local NAMI Affiliate
Meet Tosha Maaks
Tosha Maaks is a wife and mother, who is living well with bipolar for the last five years although she has had the disorder the majority of her life. As well as having mental illness herself, she knows that her father had it as well as being able to see it in at least two of her sons.
Tosha specializes in symptom recognition and currently is the President of her local affiliate of NAMI and holds a place on a council. Appointed to this position by her County Board for the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, the Council helps decide what actions are to be taken in her county for their mental health action plan. She works closely with county officials regularly within the jail and court systems and is often seen during training sessions for central IL officers.
Tosha presents face to face with local teenagers during the NAMI's Ending the Silence program, which helps middle and high schoolers understand mental illness, and loves to speak openly about her experience with mental health and mental illness. She has also held many positions during her life from a disc jockey at a local radio show to backstage hair and makeup on traveling Broadway. Tosha credits her husband for her majority of support and says she could not do what she does without him.
Tosha volunteers because...
The reason I volunteer is simple: to help others succeed in recovery. I feel that so many who have a mental illness are unable to find a balance in life that lets them be truly who they are and who they are meant to be. I am fortunate because I have both in my life. I have discovered how to have a fulfilling life and I want to help others do the same. I have teachable skills that I know others who are willing to learn can learn and I have no shortage of time to teach them how to live life in recovery.
Bad things happen and I now use my experience with my life to teach others what I went through so they don’t have to spend the years wondering like I did. The years not knowing. My knowledge is helpful to others and all my years of living with this illness is useful. Suicide didn’t get me for a reason and I am going to get the most of my second chance and I want to share it with you.
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