Any suicidal thought is a risk. Help is always available. HealthWest's 24/7 crisis line is (231) 722-HELP. Anyone with a mental health concern can also walk into our offices at 376 E. Apple Ave., during business hours for an assessment. If there is an immediate fear of death or injury, please call 911.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line:
Text Home to 741741

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio
(888) 628-9454

LGBTQ Youth Hotline
(866) 488-7386

Suicide Hotline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
(800) 799-4889


Our Stories: 
Overcoming Childhood Trauma


Master Level Clinician- HealthWest’s Transition Age Team


My name is Hayley Turner. I am 29 years old and a Master Level Clinician/Therapist at HealthWest. I work on the Transition Age Team, and I love helping people. I identify as a demisexual lesbian, and as non-binary and also gender queer. I also use they/them/theirs pronouns.

Some very specific things happened to me as a child and throughout my life that fueled my passion to work in the mental health field. Due to the trauma I experienced as a child, I developed a few diagnoses, which I tried to deny as a teen, and as a young adult. I remember not being able to control my emotions and not understanding why, attempting to kill myself over and over and over…and not understanding where it was coming from…because I couldn’t remember. In order to protect myself, my brain made me forget.

When I was 14, I started to remember. I was abused by 2 different men, not in my immediate family. I started self-harming, daily, and continued to self-harm into my early 20’s. I experienced suicidal thoughts, daily. I have attempted to kill myself over 12 times since I was 14. I was petrified of psychiatrists, as I was always told I would be labeled as crazy and locked away.

At 19-20 I found social work and I was taught how the mental health system truly operates. When I was 21 a good friend dragged me out of bed, fed me breakfast, and escorted me to my first appointment with a psychiatrist. And for the first time, I was labeled as some things that I didn’t want. (Around 14 I was also putting two and two together about my sexuality). But this, in part, saved my life. I was medicated appropriately for the first time, and my self-harming and suicidal thoughts gradually decreased. I could laugh again, really laugh. It had been so long since I hadn’t acted fake or tried to hide how broken and empty I felt.

Stories such as mine are far too common, and so is abuse in general. Every single client I have worked with has experienced some form of trauma, and sexual abuse is one of the main that has been spoken to me. I believe that everyone has something that they struggle with, or have gone through.

I am very fortunate that my team cares for and accepts me and UNDERSTANDS me. My supervisor has helped me grow so much with my diagnoses and as a person in general. My spouse also works for our agency, and I would be lost without them. They understand my mental health, all too well, and we are great supporters to one another. My family is also in a place where they understand why I acted or behaved the way that I did, and why I acted on dangerous impulses.