Former SMSD principal shares struggle with mental health
IT'S BEEN NEARLY FOURMONTHS SINCE A FORMERSHAWNEE MISSION SCHOOLDISTRICT PRINCIPAL WASARRESTED FOR DRUNKDRIVING.TODAY -- 41 ACTION NEWREPORTER MCKENZIENELSON SAT DOWN WITHCORY STRATHMAN-- AS HE SHARED WHATLED TO THE NIGHT THATCHANGED HIS LIFE.CORY STRATHMAN - FORMERROSEHILL ELEMENTARYPRINCIPAL"I've gone down a track thatdidn't end up so well for me."CORY STRATHMAN ISPICKING HIMSELF BACK UP--STRATHMAN"From January 25 until today,over 100 days, I can say thatI'm in the best place that I'vebeen in for maybe my entirelife."IN JANUARY --CORY STRATHMAN WARRESTED AFTER POLICESAID HE CRASHED INTO ACAR IN SHAWNEE.OFFICERS CITED HIM FORD-U-I AND A HIT AND RUN.STRATHMAN"In the moment, I was fearful ofeverything, losing my job, myfamily and my wife."STRAWTHMAN WAS THEPRINCIPAL AT ROSEHILLELEMENTARY SCHOOL.AFTER HIS ARREST -- HERESIGNED.STRATHMAN"I finally, looking back, wasable to come out of denial."THREE YEARS AGO -- HEWAS DIAGNOSED WITHMAJOR DEPRESSIVEDISORDER.EVEN WITH AN EMPLOYEEASSISTANCE PROGRAMTHROUGH THE DISTRICT --HE NEVER TRIED TO GETHELP.SUSAN ROME - JOCOMENTAL HEALTH CENTER,DEPUTY DIRECTOR"A lot of people just don't knowthat their employers do offerthat, or they may notunderstand that it isconfidential."STRATHMAN"What if people know I'm usingthis, what if they find out thit's depression."IT TOOK BEING ARRESTED --FOR HIM TO TAKE THEFIRST STEPS.STRATHMAN WENT TOREHAB AND STARTEDSEEING A THERAPIST.STRATHMAN"A diagnosis won't helpanything.
It's not the diagnosisthat will make you feel better."THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE ONMENTAL HEALTH SAYS ITCAN BE DECADESBETWEEN FIRSTSYMPTOMS AND WHENPEOPLE SEEK HELP.RO"Encourage people to ask forhelp, don't wait to ask forhelp.That's one of the things thatwe know happens a greatdeal."MAY IS MENTAL HEALTHAWARENESS MONTH --STRATHMAN IS HOPING HISTORY WILL HELP OTHERSSPEAK UP and get the helpthey need.IN SHAWNEE, MCKENZIENELSON, 41 ACTION NEWS.STRATHMAN CREATED AWEBSITE CALLED -- GRACEIN YOUR CORNER.HE'S USING IT AS APLATFORM TO SHARE HISSTORY -- WHILE HELPINGOTHERS.HE ALSO HOPES HISEFFORTS WILL HELP RAISEAWARENESS AND REMOVETHE STIGMA SURROUNDINGMENTAL HEALTH.THANKS FOR JOINING U