Young Man Sees a Bright Future After Depression Treatment
One could say that 25-year-old Moses Idris knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles.
His journey led him to the Avera Behavioral Health Center, and he’s grateful for the help he received that helped him to overcome depression and arrive at a better place in life. The Light the Way campaign, through the Avera Foundation, supports expansion of behavioral health services in Sioux Falls.
Fleeing his native country, Eritrea, at the age of 5 due to a civil war, Idris and his immediate family risked their lives to find a better life. Idris, who belongs to a small ethnic group called Kunama people, lived in a refugee camp with his family for 10 years in Ethiopia. It was always a struggle to find food, work or access to education or health care.
“Our parents worked so hard to provide for us but they often fell short due to lack of employment and resources in the refugee camp. But in 2010, we had an opportunity to resettle in America where we could all live safely,” Idris said.
Idris moved to Sioux Falls when he was 15, where he was about to face his greatest obstacles yet. Without knowing any English, he started high school.
“After a few years, I really embraced the culture and even began working as an interpreter so I could help others who are going through the same struggles with adapting to a new country,” Idris said.
Idris flourished. He worked various jobs and volunteered in different organizations to help his Kunama and the Sioux Falls community. He even formed recreational/competitive soccer club to help kids stay engaged in good activities, stay focused in school and create a better future for themselves.
A Difficult Recovery
Just as Idris was feeling confident and started college, he suffered a workplace injury that left him needing extensive surgery on both knees. Juggling a busy school schedule and working full time, he had to pull back and let his body heal. Staying home to recover was difficult.
“I was always outgoing and motivated, but staying at home and not being able to help my family and community left me hopeless, and I started to become depressed. It really got worse to the point where my family was getting quite concerned but they couldn’t understand or relate to my feelings. In fact, there was so much miscommunication because of my mental status, my family had to call local law enforcement to assess the situation and help me,” he said.
Idris was then admitted to Avera Behavioral Health Center in Sioux Falls where he spent two weeks before returning home. Unfortunately, his discharge was too much for him to handle and he found himself heading back into depression and even experienced thoughts of suicide. He knew he needed help.
“I don’t remember a lot of what was going on at that time,” he said. “I had to rely on God to give me spiritual strength, and I was also grateful for the Avera Behavioral Health Center staff members that helped me feel safe and cared for. My family was so supportive, and they were grateful to have Avera to provide these mental health services.”
Experiencing a Breakthrough
Idris learned a lot at Avera Behavioral Health Center where he was aligned with highly skilled therapists to develop the best course of treatment for his unique struggles. During his stay, he had a breakthrough and started thinking about his priorities in life his future.
Today, Idris is quick to share a bright smile and sunny demeanor. Although he is in a good place now, he is acutely aware of how quickly that can change.
“Severe depression and other behavioral health conditions can happen to anybody, at any time. I never thought I would get that depressed. I owe my life to the caregivers and staff at Avera Behavioral Health,” Idris said. This experience made such an impact on his life, he’s chosen to work for Avera.
“My identity is about God and being a positive source of support. I know my depression is going to be a life-long journey. I’m just so appreciative of this community for coming up with the vital funds to support patients and families like me at Avera Behavioral Health Services. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Light the Way supports expanding behavioral health services at Avera, including new services such as addiction care for youth. Learn more at AveraFoundation.org.