Why is Maegan so passionate about how we treat each other? She has experienced many of the issues that the S-Factor deals with, including being harassed, called names and bullied on public transit, in malls and at schools, because of actions people do not understand. Growing up Maegan had a difficult time getting a diagnosis and finding the right supports. Maegan did not give up and after years of searching for answers she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD and OCD. The diagnosis’ assisted Maegan to find the supports and develop strategies she uses to be the successful person she is today.
Maegan is sharing her story for the same reason she is a strong advocate for social justice. She knows that talking about mental health reduces stigma; it helps others to see the true person rather than their actions and labels, and; it gives others the courage to reach out for help.
Maegan has great advice for others who live with mental illness, including:
- If you don’t find a doctor or therapist that is helping, keep looking.
- Utilize the resources available on campus, for example, learning accommodations such as sitting in the first row of the class, closest to the door, writing exams alone, and recording privileges help Maegan with her academic success.
- Humor and physical activity are tremendous strategies to maintain personal wellness
- Find personal strategies that work specifically for you, for example, alternating often between subjects when studying, coupled with physical activity breaks help Maegan to focus.
- Just because it’s in your head doesn’t mean it’s not real… Get help, ask for help, find the strength to open up to someone and talk about what is happening… you are not alone.
- Find your passions and stay active with the things you enjoy
Maegan Lilly, a teacher, mentor, leader and advocate…
Thank you for sharing your story and making a difference in the lives of so many.