From Adversity to Advocacy with Darcy Rideout

Welcome to season 2 of Untold Valor! We are thrilled to be joined by a returning guest, Darcel (Darcy) Rideout, an 11-year PA Army National Guard veteran. We had the privilege of learning more about her story in season 1, and today she is back to talk with us about her inspiring journey from adversity to advocacy.

Darcy opens up about her personal experience with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, during her time Army National Guard. Despite facing resistance from her military leadership when seeking help, she hit rock bottom and eventually found solace in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This life-changing experience motivated her to become an advocate for mental health support within the military community.

Join us for another empowering conversation with Darcy about the power of speaking out, seeking help, and self-love.

Highlights of this episode:

  •  1:40 – Darcy’s experience with depression, anxiety, and PTSD and how she found help through CBT
  •  5:48 – The power of setting goals and the 54321 grounding method
  •  12:23 – How Darcy is helping to combat stigma surrounding mental health
  •  16:02 – Finding the motivation to seek help through a mindset of self-love and compassion
  •  21:06 – “A hero is someone who heals their own wounds and shows others how to do the same”

Darcel (Darcy) Rideout:

Darcel A. Rideout is an 11-year PA Army National Guard veteran, small business owner, mental health advocate and board member of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania. Darcel joined the PA Army National Guard at the age of 17. Now, Darcel owns a graphic t-shirt company and is pursuing a psychology degree at Widener University with plans of becoming a Clinical Psychologist.

Darcel has been awarded two Army Achievement medals during service. Following a series of traumatic experiences during her last years of service in the Army National Guard, Darcel was diagnosed with PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. Fortunately, Darcel received no-cost Behavioral and Mental health care through the Cohen’s Veteran Network, which she credits with changing her life.

Now Darcel is an advisory board member at the Cohen Military Family Clinic as a Veteran Advocate. Since overcoming her challenges with mental health, Darcel has publicly shared her experiences in efforts to reach others in the veteran community, active-duty service members, and anyone in the public who is struggling with mental health.

Resources for this Episode:

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania:  https://www.med.upenn.edu/mfc/

Resources:

Need immediate help? Contact the Veterans Crisis Line via phone, text or online chat. Dial 988 then Press 1 or text 838255 or use the online chat at https://bit.ly/3OunXzg

Voice & Vision: https://bit.ly/3miwFoy

CompeerCORPS: https://bit.ly/3GgKryU

Information on how to apply for VA Healthcare Benefits from anywhere in the USA: https://bit.ly/40PtrrN or call 877-222-8387 (M-F 8am-8pm EST)

To apply for veteran’s benefits and find resources in Pennsylvania veterans need to contact their County Office of Veterans Affairs as listed in this document: https://bit.ly/3m8PBWS

View more about PA’s resources for veterans: https://bit.ly/416cf0Q

Financial support for Untold Valor is provided by a Veterans’ Trust Fund grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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