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Role Model: Graysen

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

1. Tell us a bit about yourself
I am injury-prone washed up athlete. This is technically my third year of university at UNB but due to my mental health, I spent a full year not getting credits and trying to get myself back on track.
2.     Why is ending the stigma important?
When I first started suffering from depression and anxiety I came up with every possible scenario of what was wrong other than me having a mental illness. I thought that I had too good of a life, there was no reason for me to be sad and have trouble getting out of bed. Even now I have a tough time accepting it. Ending the stigma is important because people shouldn’t feel like they don’t have a reason to be suffering. 
3.     When did you know you needed help?
I’m not sure when I personally realized that I needed help… In high school I stayed in bed and missed so many classes that my mother dragged me to a doctor. The doctor ending up telling me that there was a good chance I was suffering from anxiety and depression since it was something that people in my family had to deal with. I guess I would say when I realized it myself would’ve been my second year of university when I didn’t have someone else to drag me to a doctor and I had to do it on my own.
4.     What are you most proud of yourself for?
I am most proud of myself for finally reaching out and getting the help I need and deserve. 
5.     Who inspires you?
There are three people in my life that really inspire me and I have a tattoo to represent them collectively. Two of these three are my parents. The tattoo is of a lion to represent the strength that they have and I aspire to have. I’ve seen them go through so much and still hold everything together and that’s all I can wish for myself. 


  • Way to go Gray! Such an important topic and you are brave to do this for others.

    Debbie Forsythe on

  • There is definately NOTHING washed up about you, my dear Niece!!! Amazing … 2 of my nieces are taking part in this wonderful campaign!!! Thank you for coming out about depression and anxiety, Graysen! I began experiencing bouts of depression when I was about 16, but didn’t know what it was. At that time mental illnesses were not talked about openly and actually …. many didn’t even know that what was holding them back had a name or was an illness. You may not end up being an athlete, but whatever the field is that you decide to work in … I know you will give it your very best and continue to make our family so proud!!! As I commented to Aaliyah, be true to yourself and keep smiling that lovely smile. You have many younger cousins watching you. Show them how it’s done! xoxoxo Love you Sweetie! Aunt Shirley xoxoxo


  • Reminds me so much of my story. Keep fighting! :)

    Kanika Dewan on

  • Love this campaign and so proud of you for taking part! Love you my cousin. ❤️️

    Starr Francis on

  • I went to high school with you, just a couple years younger than you. You were always involved in things that helped better the experience or someone’s life. It is really true that you never know what someone is going through. I hardly know you, but I’m so proud of you! Congratulations and I think this is an amazing campaign.

    Lauren McNutt on

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