ST. LOUIS – Health experts say the harsh reality is more than half of adults who experience mental illness will not seek treatment and many think they can snap out of it on their own. However, doctors say it’s an illness that can and should be treated.
That applies to the two people you are about to meet. They’ve battled with their own depression and are on a mission to inspire others to seek help and push forward.
Koran Bolden, a St. Louis native, has garnered numerous awards and media recognition as a motivational speaker and author. Bolden, 38, launched his first business at the age of 12 and solidified his first multi-million-dollar contract offer by the age of 21.
However, Bolden’s life came to a screeching halt last year. He realized the people around him were counting on him to be strong, but he was empty.
“It was really hard for me because everyone was looking at Koran Bolden, the brand, who shows up and the helper of all things in the community and in schools. He is that big hero. It was even harder for me to come out. It left me suffering in silence,” he said. “I would rather tell my story, be truly authentic of who I am, and deal with people who understand what I’m going through than to live a lie.”
Bolden turned his stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
“After losing my brother to gun violence while in the same month losing my uncle to cancer, I ended up having a family shattered in pieces and not really knowing how to pick up those pieces,” he said.
Bolden says he put his pride aside and has since gone to nearly two dozen therapy sessions. He says he’s overcome his trauma and celebrated his achievement this past October when the Cardinals asked him to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a game.
“I really think it’s time to step up in the community and be able to really do something about this, cause there is so many people that need help,” he said.
Now we introduce you to Sabrina McField, a former choreographer and dancer for musician R. Kelly.
McField was devasted as she watched her former boss fall from grace and ultimately be sentenced to prison for sex crimes. McField wrote the book “The Dance in My Shoes” where she channeled her own emotional strife.
“I went on this journey writing this book and it forced a lot of conversation about my mother and father. I finished this book in 2020. For 15 years, I did not know what to say or how to communicate or who to talk to about mental health,” she said.
McField son’s father took his own life and, months later, COVID closed her salon business.
McField confronted her crisis head-on.
“Yes, people have breaking points; you have to get to know your body. Your body tells you, that’s one thing I learned on this journey. your body tells you,” she said. “Save yourself. No one is coming to save you, no one came to save me. I’m glad to save myself.”
Dr. Jessi Gold, a Washington University psychiatrist at Barnes Jewish Hospital, says there are warning signs.
“Too much sleep or too little sleep and any change in appetite. People start to notice those warning signs and your loss of interest in stuff,” she said. “Also, on the serious note, hopeless thoughts if not wanting to wake up, or wanting to hurt yourself or end your life, that would be a reason you should be concerned and want to get help.”