Mental health advocate shares personal story to raise awareness for minority communities

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man who was diagnosed with a mental health disorder said it’s his mission to spread awareness to the minority community.

Rwenshaun Miller is a successful entrepreneur.

He's earned a master's degree in counseling, founded a nonprofit and authored a book.

“It's geared toward giving people hope and giving them the skills to thrive,” Miller said.

An academic scholarship took him to UNC-Chapel Hill where he played football and ran for the track teams.

He hit rock bottom during his sophomore year.

He lost interest in things he used to enjoy and heard voices telling him that he was worthless.

“I overdosed on pills twice, and then the last time, I put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger and it jammed on me,” Miller said. “It was like, ‘You can't even kill yourself right. What is wrong with you?’”

He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He blogged about his experience after he received treatment and therapy. His hope was that other people would open up about their struggles.

Now he is spreading awareness to others.

“We grew up in an era where what happens in this house, stays in this house,” Miller said. “Well, the house is about to burn down. We don't talk about those things. I do it to help the next generation and the generation that came before me.”

Miller organized the "Let's Talk About It" walks to help break the stigma.

His book, “Injured Reserve,” speaks directly to black men.

“We always want to put on the facade that we are always strong in all situations,” Miller said. “So that was something that I wanted to break down.”

His next goal is to open a mental health triage clinic, which would offer culturally efficient, affordable care.

“I'm here for a reason and that reason is to help other people not to go down that path that I went down,” Miller said. “That's why I am open about sharing my story.”

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