Connect
To Top

Daily Inspiration: Meet Brittany Franklin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Franklin.

Hi Brittany, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’ve struggled with my mental health for the majority of my life and in 2011 after a mental health crisis, I was finally diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Following that experience, I found it hard to find a community to relate to because of the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide, so I had it in mind to create one for survivors who struggle with suicide ideation and depression. I took a minute to start since I didn’t know where or how to, but eventually, I had a dream about the layout of the website and the name of the community. You’re Not Finished was live within 2 weeks of that dream in February 2012.

I began to write blogs on my site as well as on sites for other mental health organizations and invited other survivors to add the stories of their journey through mental illness or distress for the purpose of encouraging others. It was successful for a while but to be honest, I was still struggling with alcoholism and untreated mental illness. Because I was running YNF on my own, it became too overwhelming, so in 2014 I just stopped completely.

Despite that, I had been a mental health advocate on and off since then, and in 2019, I decided to get serious about You’re Not Finished by pursuing my psychology degree at Azusa Pacific University. In my mind, the only way I was going to overcome the barriers that were in the way of being consistent with my purpose was to face them and learn more about the “why” – what are the root causes of the depression, anxiety, and addictive tendencies that I (and others) have and what do I need to do to not just survive but thrive. I wanted to combine academic education and research with my belief in God in order to decrease stigma, help myself, and help others because I knew YNF wouldn’t go anywhere if I hadn’t.

Now, as a college graduate who has been sober for nine years and with You’re Not Finished becoming an LLC, I strive to make YNF a mental health resource through quarterly giveaways, blogs, & podcasts on a consistent basis and have done so since March 2021.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not. As I mentioned, I dealt with a period of alcoholism for a while and depression and anxiety on a consistent basis. Because of that, I believed the lie that I wasn’t qualified to do much of anything, let alone run a site to encourage others. Unfortunately, I also dealt with stigma within my familial and religious communities. As a Black Christian woman, I grew up with the idea being more prayerful and active in church would be the answer to my mental distress and that the default for the Black American is strength and resilience, which are great qualities to have, but being pressured to exude them does nothing to help depression and anxiety. There are times were trying to be strong and resilient caused a lot of shame and stifled any progress I could make towards healing and making You’re Not Finished a reality. Those ideas caused a lot of shame and stifled any progress I could make towards healing and making You’re Not Finished a reality.

To get to where I am now, I had to learn and realize that prayer works, but so does therapy. They both serve a purpose and being honest about the need to pursue healing through the spiritual and mental process is true strength. Additionally, it has been tough continuing to do this on my own for the most part, however, I’m confident that won’t be the case for much longer.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
In March of last year, I relaunched You’re Not Finished by starting a podcast that integrates mental health information with Christian theology (where applicable, since there isn’t always room for integration here in my opinion). The goal is to combine my experiences with encouragement from the Word (again where applicable) and information from previous/current research by mental health professionals in order to help others and decrease stigma.

Another reason for integrating Christianity and mental health is to bridge the gap between those communities so that Christian organizations can strive to become safer spaces for those with mental illness and/or who are experiencing mental distress. The church doesn’t have to be the resource if it isn’t able to (although it should strive to be), but it should regardless have connections to the mental health community for those in need.

Because I don’t want to be just another podcast that gives info without application or tangible resources, I decided this year that I would do quarterly giveaways of helpful mental health tools for those who listen. Additionally, I’m also currently applying for grants in order to allow individuals of underserved & marginalized communities to apply for and receive a voucher for mental health/counseling services. You can learn more about that here: https://la2050.org/ideas/2022/encouraging-communities-empowering-individuals-ending-stigma and at my website, www.yourenotfinished.com

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I guess pursuing and being an advocate for something I’ve received minimal support in (on a grander scale) is a risk, huh? I didn’t think about that until just now so yes, I guess I could be considered a risk-taker in that way. Everything I’ve posted on You’re Not Finished could open me up to criticism as I’m very open about the things I have and continue to struggle with but at the same time, I know that I can’t care more about how people perceive me than I do about making sure that what I have to say helps others perceive themselves in a better light and leads to healing and growth. I’ve always been a results-oriented person, so if the desired result comes at personal risk – so be it. The thing about risk, though, is I do desire to be wise and Spirit-led in how I do things, so I never want to be reckless with the things I post or say. I don’t think anyone should be passionate or zealous about anything without being wise and having accountability, so I guess my view on risk-taking would be to take calculated risks and don’t be scared of failure.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Mina Gabalawy

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in local stories