Spring is coming! Connect with others to improve your mental health

Andrew Skinner March 14, 2024 News, Triumph Outreach Update

The long cold Winter is over. Springtime is here!

If you're like me, the past couple of months of rain, wind, and dark skies have dampened many of my plans and efforts, especially my need to get outside and enjoy the sun.

This weather made me reflect on my journey after injury and coping struggles, a dark period that seemed to go on forever.

I also think about those currently experiencing their own periods of darkness, whether they're waking up in a hospital to a prognosis of paralysis, coming home for the first time, and learning to manage their physical needs and mobility.

Mental health has become a crucial issue In our culture, across all demographics, from adults to children. Even more so in the disability community where trauma and isolation are everyday factors.

After my injury, I'm convinced I wouldn't have made it through those dark times in the hospital without my faith, the support of my family, and the encouragement from friends who prayed for me and shared the words of encouragement I needed to hear. I met psychologists and support group leaders focused on helping me deal emotionally and mentally with my new normal. Thanks to their help, I became resilient!

It was there that I picked up the phrase that people often associate with me, "It's the club nobody wants to join, but once you're in, you're family." That was a truth I needed to hear.

I joined support groups, met others in similar situations, and through these new friendships, I started to engage with the community in a meaningful way. Through regular support groups and adaptive sports, I began to feel less isolated. I met mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, who had experienced injury or had a family member who endured it. Each one of them intentionally worked to make me feel like I belonged.

Participating in adaptive sports, attending events, and seeing what was truly possible opened my eyes to the potential within me. These moments were crucial for my recovery and mental and emotional well-being.

All these years later, I find I'm living with joy, contentment, and an awareness of my potential that I previously didn't think was possible.

Today, I'm driven to seek out others who haven't yet discovered their own strength. Many of the people we serve still have that deer-in-the-headlights look, waiting for someone to offer a fist bump or an affirming nod to show they're not alone.

It's in those moments that I recognize that their long cold Winter of worry and despair is coming to a close. Their Springtime is here.

I'm excited for the Los Angeles Abilities Expo this week, an event where our lively and active booth serves as a "must visit" for connection and support.

If you feel disconnected or are struggling with adapting to your new normal, I encourage you to visit me and the Triumph team at our booth at the Abilities Expo.

Or join us for the Wheelchair Sports Festival in Santa Clarita next month to try new things and meet new friends.

You'll meet an incredible group of people we call the "Triumph Family," who deeply care for each other and offer support and encouragement for whatever you're facing.

And if you've been living with a disability for a long time but have lost touch with a community of peers, I urge you to come and rediscover what it means to be part of an active and supportive group. We're here to help you see your Springtime and achieve everything you're capable of.

Keep moving forward,

Andrew & the Triumph Family

Participants, Volunteers, Sponsors & Exhibitors Needed!  Will you help?

Join Triumph's largest event of the year on the weekend of April 27th - 28th.  Our Wheelchair Sports Festival features more than a dozen sports and activities. Will you attend?

We're asking for Participants, Volunteers, Sponsors & Exhibitors to step up now to make this the best Wheelchair Sports Festival ever!!

Volunteers Needed

Sponsors Needed

Become a Resource Fair Exhibitor

The event is FREE, all-inclusive, and a whole lot of FUN.

Fun for your whole family!  Everybody Plays!!

"The resilience within the Triumph Family doesn't waver. Our momentum propels us forward to accomplish more and more, inspiring others towards recovery and restoration."
- Andrew Skinner

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact us.

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