Each person is facing many inner turmoils. Though one would never know the extent of other people’s suffering, it does not hurt to be kind to strangers. Even the simplest gestures filled with kindness can go a long way.
As someone who has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder since he was in high school, Jacob Gland knows all too well the struggles of loneliness and hopelessness, and the mental toll these bring. It is a constant battle inside the mind, and there was a time in Jacob’s life where his mental illnesses almost won.
In December 2017, Jacob attempted to take his own life, but he miraculously survived the self-inflicted gunshot. However, his fight was far from over. Around 70% of adults in the United States experience a traumatic event in their lives, and some people may end up developing mental disorders. After the incident, Jacob was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which took away most of Jacob’s freedom and made his life more difficult.
Through an organization in Pennsylvania called New Hope Assistance Dogs, Jacob’s life was changed for the better when he found his battle buddy, Liberty, who is a PTSD service dog. With Liberty by his side, Jacob is finally reclaiming his life back.
It was not easy to unlearn toxic habits and break down negative mindsets, but Jacob managed to pull through. After he learned to love himself again, Jacob realized that he could achieve anything that he can set his mind to. One of his goals is to take the worst years of his life and rebuild them into something beautiful, positive, and inspiring.
Currently, Jacob is a motivational speaker, suicide survivor, life coach, mental health advocate, and nationally certified interventionist. Along with Liberty, Jacob made it his personal life mission to spread awareness about mental health issues, as well as break the stigma that plagues suicide and mental illnesses.
“Every day we have the chance to impact someone’s life. It does not have to be some grand gesture, it can be as simple as a smile,” Jacob states.
Everywhere they go, Jacob and Liberty aim to leave a positive impact. Jacob’s experiences give him empathy and compassion, and he can relate to others at a more intimate level. The duo does their best to educate and inspire as many people as they can and have their audience come out of the talks feeling and believing that they are a gift to the world, and the world is a better place with them in it.
There was once a time where Jacob had reached his rock bottom, his point of no return. He had been in the lowest of the lows. Jacob may have pulled the trigger, but he lived to talk about his experiences. With his second chance in life, Jacob wants to continue helping people and pulling them away from the brink for as long as he is able, with his battle buddy Liberty by his side.