Betty Kola, also known as “Miss Betty,” works to help immigrants and refugees overcome their trauma and understand mental health.
“Those issues from when you’re born carry over into your adult life, and that’s why you have all those challenges,” Kola explained.
Kola is not just saying that. She’s lived it. Not having her biological father in the picture led to a deep depression at a young age.
“I tried to take my own life when I was about 10 years old,” she said. When her first son was 2, she had to leave him behind in Kenya. “I had to leave him because immigration wouldn’t allow me to come with him,” she said.”When he finally came, he was almost 10 years old when he came to join me in America. I stayed with him for seven months and he passed away from bronchopneumonia.”
That led to the second time Kola tried to take her own life. That happened while she was working to get her Ph.D. in psychology.
“I was in a very dark place,” Kola said. Kola said there’s an even bigger stigma surrounding mental health in many foreign communities. “We associate mental health with madness,” Kola said. “When we experience something, I come and talk to you as my neighbor. And that’s the end of it. But your neighbor is not equipped to handle that.”
That’s why she said she makes it a point to serve other immigrants and refugees at her practice, Buoyant Family Services Counseling and Consulting.
Read more at KETV.com.