West Michigan man aims to tackle mental health issues with new book

Posted at 8:30 PM, May 21, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A book written by a West Michigan man focused on helping people navigate mental health disorders is set to be released.

“As long as I have breath in my lung, I’m going to keep saying the awkward things other people won’t say,” said author Joseph Reid. “Somebody’s gotta not just say you’re not alone but show them they’re not alone.”

In 2018, the Grand Rapids man began writing Broken Like Me.

“I have no idea what to expect,” Reid said. “I’m just hoping it will help one person.”

It’s inspired by Reid’s decades-long struggle with major depressive disorder and other conditions as well as a close friend who died by suicide.

“If you had a rough day, he would drag his eight kids in their 16-passenger van and just go and give you a hug at your front door,” Reid said. “He was my best friend, but he made everybody feel like their best friend.”

Reid says the book dives into the approaches that help him manage his mental health and offers ways for people to adjust it to their needs.

He’s worked alongside peers and professionals over the last few years to put the book together. He emphasizes there’s not just one therapy or one pill that can fix it all.

“If something bad happens, I have thoughts of suicide,” Reid said. “If there’s a fight with my wife or the kids aren’t doing well, that’s just where my mind goes. I’ve got really good coping skills to deal with that right now.”

Reid hopes it encourages people to not be afraid to talk.

“What I’m trying to do with the book, what I’m trying to do with broken people is, to in some way, normalize it in a safe place,” said Reid.

Broken Like Me will be available on Amazon starting June 1.

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