Rebecca Lombardo

Patient Leader

Hello! I’m 46 years old and have been married for 18 years. When I was 19, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Over the years, my diagnosis has changed to add borderline personality disorder and agoraphobia. I am also in recovery for self injury. I have been free of that for 6 years. In 2013, I attempted suicide and ended up in the hospital. I was committed by the state to a horrible facility. When I got out, I turned to one of my first loves, writing. I had always dreamt of being an author, but suffered with writers block for years. I came up with the idea to start a blog. Initially, it was just for myself and my husband, but I made it public after a short time. I was amazed by all of the people commenting and thanking me for telling my story. I took that as my opportunity to finally get my book published. It was released in 2015. I still have my blog and continue to post when I can. My husband and I started a podcast in 2016. It’s called Voices for Change 2.0 and it airs live on Saturday morning. We have all types of guests, primarily in the mental health field. I also created the hashtag #KeepTalkingMH which is very popular on Twitter and Instagram. It gets 20,000+ posts on Instagram daily. From time to time, I still struggle with depression and anxiety. If I’m having a bad day, I am open and honest when I share it on social media so others know they can too. I’m very happy with the direction my advocacy is headed. I hope to help more people every day.

Location

Farmington Hills, MI

Finalist

Best in Show: Blog

Diagnosed with bipolar at age 19, Rebecca has struggled with mental illness ever since. In 2013, she attempted suicide. Knowing that she needed to make a change, she started writing a blog detailing her struggles. Eventually turning it into a book. She is an advocate, blogger for the HuffPost and is hosting a mental health podcast with her husband.  — Joe

Rebecca is one of the strongest people I know. She has put herself out there to try to help others. She is gaining followers and readers, but I believe she deserves more attention so others can hear her incredible story.  — Kristen

Rebecca is a strong and inspiring mental health advocate. She bravely shares her story of her own struggles with bipolar disorder and anxiety, and encourages both those living with mental illness and their loved ones to keep up the good fight. She is a talented writer and she deserves to win "Best Kept Secret"!

Rebecca spends a lot of time on Twitter, and because of that all 3 of her accounts together have nearly 70,000 followers. She will do anything that she can for someone that reaches out to her that is struggling. She has so many life experiences to talk about. I've seen her help others first hand.

Because she deserves it!  — tia

Rebecca's book, "Not Your Journey," is a candid description of her struggles with mental illness and how she has learnt to manage her disorder. Her book, along with her considerable social media presence, provide inspiration and support to thousands of people around the world.  — Kevin

Rebecca is a tireless mental health advocate who maintains a popular blog, has written a book, hosts a podcast and otherwise speaks out and supports those suffering from mental illness. She manages her own illness and is not shy about sharing her own struggles in the process. She is a thoughtful tweeter providing value and content to help others  — Anne Moss

This woman has an absolutely breathtaking story. She has helped countless men and women suffering with multiple mental illnesses and disorders, and is the most empathatic writer I've ever encountered. She is absolutely fearless when it comes to sharing her story, and she has made mental illness easier to talk about, and less of something to hide.  — Jillian

Great writing about personal experience with bipolar disorder. Actively promoting her experience to help others.  — C

Rebecca is refreshingly honest about her own disorder, publishing a book on her bi-polar disorder so that others will benefit. She also does a radio broadcast and blogs for the Huffington Post. Rebecca is exposing her improvements and setbacks to inspire others.  — pierette

Voices for change is valuble for featuring people with lived experiences of managing their mental health. They let us know that we can keep going and enjoy life.  — Karletta

Rebecca is a truly wonderful Mental Health advocate. She is a published author and shares her struggles, with mental health, in an honest and open manner. She is a tireless advocate and an inspiring person  — Charlie

She's very active on Twitter and a positive voice for fighting stigma against mental health, especially bipolar disorder and bpd. She has ove 60,000 followers, wrote a memoir about her struggles, has a successful podcast, and is in general a wonderful person (I may be biased on that last one. I'm her husband)  — Joe

Rebecca co-hosts the "Voices for Change 2.0" podcast with her husband Joe Lombardo. Rebecca is a truly amazing mental health podcaster. She thoughtfully chooses a variety of guests and asks such insightful questions. She always strives to help her listeners feel less alone with their mental illness, gives them practical information, and hope.  — Dyane

I came across Beka on Twitter. The most special thing anyone has done for me along my journey of recovery, is being asked to take part in her essay to be posted on her blog in awareness of Mental Health month. No one has ever been interested in my story. Let alone willing to post it on a blog for all her followers to see. Beka really shows empathy!

I discovered Rebecca Lombardo on Twitter, and then her podcast, Voices4ChangeRJ. I have always been very embarrassed about my mental health situation because of the stigma attached. But Beka has made it her mission, even on her bad days, to fight for those suffering in silence, offer support, and educate society on Mental Health and Mental Illness.  — Caprice

I was introduced to Beka's work on Twitter. Then became familiar with her other social media platforms. Beka is strong, even on her bad days she makes it her mission to get the message out there about mental health, especially for those suffering in silence. Beka educates our society on what mental illness is in order to end the stigma. Very brave!  — Caprice

Beka and Voices for Change2.0 have given me the strength to speak up for the first time about my mental illness. I was always ashamed. But her podcast educates people on what mental health is all about, speaks for those who do not have the courage to speak up yet. She encourages you to be positive, even on your bad days.  — Caprice

I think what you are doing to create awareness around mental illness is extremely admirable; especially having experienced and going through it yourself on a daily basis. It leaves you vulnerable to criticism and judgement, yet you still persevere to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. You're truly an inspiration.  — Y

BEKA is a truly authentic, transparent and genuine person, especially when it comes to fighting for the stigma against mental health and mental illness.

Beka is very brave to do what she does, especially with people who suffer from anxiety, being in the public eye isn't easy and I commend her for that. To show her most vulnerable side to the world, it's inspiring. Because as we know, people can be cruel.

Beka has been a huge inspiration.

She's been supporting people like me with bipolar disorder for a while, with lots of love and care.  — JP

Rebecca Lombardo is a champion for mental health. She genuinely cares.  — Sarah

Rebecca Lombardo

You Might Also Like

Access Dorset

Best in Show: Twitter Nominee

Lauren Dykovitz

Rookie of the Year Nominee

Advocating for Another Nominee

Bree Hogan

Best in Show: Blog Nominee

Hilarious Health Activist Nominee

Harold R "Scottie" Scott

Best in Show: Community Nominee

Marc C. E. Wagner

Best Kept Secret Nominee

Best Kept Secret Nominee

Candice

Best in Show: Twitter Nominee

Linda Parsons

Best in Show: Facebook Nominee

Best in Show: Facebook Nominee

HealthyWomen

Best in Show: Community Nominee

Nay Flores

Best Kept Secret Nominee

Adrienne Shapiro

Lifetime Achievement Nominee

Best in Show: Podcast Nominee

Janice Oldenburg

Advocating For Another Nominee

The Fibro Frog

Best in Show: Blog Nominee

Ovacome

Best in Show: Community Nominee

Roxanne Piszczek

Best in Show: Instagram Nominee

Best in Show: Twitter Nominee

International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis

Best in Show: Community or Forum Nominee

Best Team Performance Nominee

Emily Ladau

Best in Show: Blog Nominee

Best in Show: Blog Nominee

Tom Seaman

Health Activist Hero Nominee

Best Kept Secret Nominee

ms_fighting_mom

Best Kept Secret Nominee

James

Best Kept Secret Nominee

Adrenal Insufficiency United

Best Team Performance Nominee

Amy @myillnessmythoughts @treatably

Best in Show: Instagram Nominee

Sharon

Best in Show: Facebook Nominee

Best in Show: Facebook Nominee

Scott Chisholm

Health Activist Hero Nominee

Patient Leader Hero Nominee

Erin Palinski-Wade

Best in Show: Youtube Nominee

Best in Show: Instagram Nominee

Ostomy on the Track

Best in Show: Facebook Nominee

Health Activist Hero Nominee