As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Trevon Lang traveled to Richmond to speak on a panel about mental health.
Lang was one of 4 Virginia teens choosen to speak on the panel in front of state officials, lawmakers and youth impacted by mental illness.
“Everybody’s different. So there’s no such thing as normal. So your mental health, your mental illness is how you’re different so what you have to do is accept it and use it to your advantage,” said Lang.
Lang is a junior at Handley High School. He’s on the track team and plays video games in his free time. This is his first year re-entering the public school system after spending years away from his family while getting treatment for mental illness.
“I have ADHD which is pretty common. I have bipolar and I have conduct disorder which really causes problems,” said Lang.
Lang’s mother noticed signs of mental illness at 2-years-old, and by 9 he entered his first placement facility.
“He had his first attempt at harming himself when he was 8. I had to like wrestle with him to get a knife from him and he was trying to stab himself in the chest,” said Lang’s mother Jimeca Iyomere.
While Lang was in treatment, Iyomere also struggled with mental illness and addiction.
Trevon plans to continue speaking publically about mental health to help as many people as he can.
“I’m really hopeful for his future and I feel like he can do anything he wants to,” said Iyomere.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime.