Radio host shares story during Minority Mental Health Month

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A local radio personality is opening up about mental health to help others during Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

"I had a really hard year," said Miranda Watkins, host of Miranda's Morning Mess on 92.7 The Blast.

On a Facebook post, the 39-year-old mother shared her struggles with mental illness.

"I was so afraid to tell my friends and even my family that I was feeling this way because I just connected it to 'If you're this sad and this big moment happened, you should be ashamed of yourself,'" said Watkins.

A year ago this month, she checked into a mental health facility, where she was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression and learned she was suffering from bipolar disorder.

"Depression is something that runs in our family and I realized, 'Okay, then this is something we definitely need to talk about,'" said Watkins.

According to the Wichita chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly one in five Americans live with a mental illness.

Nearly half of Whites (48%) with mental illnesses receive mental health services, but that number is less than a third for Hispanics (32%), Blacks (30%), and Asians (20%).

"It's just something people don't want to talk about. In some cultures, it means you're weak. It means that you've brought this kind of shame towards your family," said Watkins.

NAMI Wichita and the WSU Psychology Department are hoping to end that stigma.

They are hosting the Threads of Hope event today, 6:30-9 p.m., at the WSU Metroplex (29th Street and Oliver). They will have a mental health panel and a resources fair.

To learn more about that event, click here.