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Mom opened up about depression — and Penticton responded

Penticton resident Katrina Hohmann.
Penticton resident Katrina Hohmann.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Katrina Hohmann

When Katrina Hohmann posted a photo of her messy house earlier this week, called it embarrassing and opened up about her battle with depression, she wasn't sure about the response.

You know how social media can be.

“I was nervous when I made the post but I needed help and thought this is what community is supposed to be for,” she said. “Raising awareness about mental health is what I want to do.” 

Not only did a friend and co-worker show up to clean and organize her house for her, numerous kind strangers reached out to Hohmann offering help, sharing their own stories of mental health struggles and commending her for her courage to share about her situation.

“I wasn’t expecting the amount of positive messages,” she said. “I have made deep connections to people I never knew before it is almost overwhelming, there is so much help coming to me.”

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Hohmann, a mother of two and full-time hair stylist, has been battling depression and other mental health challenges throughout her life. She said as a kid, she never got a diagnosis of depression to help her understand and learn how to stay mentally healthy.

She said there is still stigma and lack of understanding around mental health disorders.

“A lot of people think anxiety and depression is clinical where I think it is personal,” she said. “I have called numerous help lines but the kind of support I received wasn’t personalized. More connection is needed. A lot of people with mental health issues feel isolated. Having like-minded people you can converse with takes that away. You don’t have to be scared to say ‘I’m not doing great today.’”

A home in Penticton.
A home in Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Katrina Hohmann

Hohmann's house is clean but she has more work to do and has to stay on top of it, along with managing the family and business.

“It was amazing when help showed up,” she said. “Because of my mental health I find I move things around rather than deal with it and it can get overwhelming. I’m starting with a corner and doing bits at a time. I take things minute by minute or day by day. I have bursts of energy and lots of starter ideas but then the next day I’ve lost that. I struggle to follow through.” 

Hohmann is still going through her messages and returning each one carefully and with sincerity. 

“I’ve had so many people reach out I have this vast amount of support, this feels like a movement,” she said. “I want people to understand I still have social anxiety but I’ll make sure to get back to them.”

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The experience has sparked her to look at doing advocacy work to raise awareness of mental health.

Every day Hohmann talks to clients and listens to their stories of vulnerability and loss while styling and colouring their hair at PUMP Hair Salon in Penticton.

“Sometimes people just need to hear ‘I love you’ and ‘I see you, you’re not alone.'”

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