Grieving Out Loud with Angela Kennecke

A mother’s urgent message on mental health and addiction

Have you ever wondered how deeply intertwined mental health and addiction can be? According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, around half of those with serious mental health issues also struggle with substance use disorder. Experts say that certain substances can trigger mental health problems, while mental health struggles can lead to alcohol or drug abuse, creating a complex and often devastating cycle.

Stephanie Marquesano knows this cycle all too well. She lost her 19-year-old son to an accidental drug overdose after he battled both substance use disorder and anxiety. In this episode, she shares her regrets about not knowing more about co-occurring disorders. She emphasizes how better treatment and awareness of the connection between mental health and addiction could save lives.

Her organization, The Harris Project, was also involved in an award-winning PSA, which you can watch below.

  • Stephanie Marquesano and her son, Harris