Tanya Brown is the youngest sister of the late Nicole Brown Simpson. Honoring Nicole's memory, her family founded The Nicole Brown Foundation, which is dedicated to educating communities on strategies for domestic violence prevention. Brown's involvement in the Foundation has included speaking and advocating to community groups, service organizations, schools, law enforcement agencies, nonprofits and shelters, providing assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Beyond her commitment to preventing domestic violence, Brown has courageously come forward to speak about her own personal struggle with mental illness. She fought to overcome an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, and unresolved grief after enduring the loss of her beloved sister and several close friends.
Brown never took the time to process Nicole's death and grieve properly, devoting her energies instead to help create the Foundation. It was when her fiance cancelled their wedding four days before the ceremony that an emotional tailspin was triggered, resulting in years of self-destructive behavior and a near suicide attempt. Brown was admitted to a Behavioral Health Department in Laguna Beach, California in 2004 where she learned how to cope with her depression and ultimately lead a happy and successful life. Her mission today is to help the reportedly 350 million people worldwide suffering with depression to find hope, and to help break the stigma attached to mental illness.
Acknowledging her breakdown and seeking treatment was the first step towards the healing she so badly needed. Brown knows from personal experience how mental illness affects everyone in a family. She recalls her mother saying helplessly, "Do I have to watch another child die'"
She wrote the book, Finding Peace Amid the Chaos: My Escape From Depression and Suicide, a courageous and inspirational account of her 15-year battle with depression caused by several losses in her life, including the deaths of her sister and two best friends.
Brown now shares her story through public speaking. She focuses on the causes, recognition, and effective coping skills necessary to manage stress, depression and anxiety. She encourages audiences to recognize and acknowledge the early signs of trouble in dealing with personal struggles in order to avoid overload and/or a mental health breakdown.
Highly motivated to help communities become aware of the stigma attached to mental illness, Brown is an advocate for the National Alliance of Mental Illness Maryland: NAMI/ MD and is their Honorary Chair for the 2010 Run/Walk event in Baltimore. Brown speaks quarterly to the outpatient program where she was once a patient and has supported the With Hope Foundation to help prevent teen suicide. Recently, she was invited to speak to the civilians, staff and returning military at the Pentagon.
A certified life coach, Brown helps others help themselves by providing tools for heightened mental clarity and awareness. She has appeared on Larry King Live, The Early Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and a variety of local media outlets in North America.
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