Heritage alum addresses mental health through her husband’s powerful story

The Heritage Foundation’s former Digital Strategy Manager, Ericka Anderson, unveiled her powerful new book called Leaving Cloud 9, where she tells her husband Rick Sylvester’s inspiring true story about overcoming a life of child abuse, generational poverty, and bipolar disorder.

Heritage’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity brings awareness to one of the worst destroyers of the human spirit: mental health. They research and publish articles about mental health in America, and how to solve the epidemic. In the Lehmann Auditorium, Rob Bluey proudly introduced his former colleague.

Anderson revealed that Sylvester’s mother abused him. She was a drug-user, prostitute, alcoholic, and thief.

With his mother being his only influence growing up, Sylvester’s adulthood life was self-destructive. He was an alcoholic, a drug abuser, and a divorced man. Sylvester was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a disease which exhibits this kind of volatile behavior.

Fortunately, Sylvester’s story has a happy ending. He overcame his past and became a good husband, father, and strong believer in Christ.

His wife ardently told the audience, “I hope that God will use Rick’s story to help those experiencing generational poverty, opioid addiction, depression, and overcoming childhood trauma.” She also thanked the experts at Heritage who helped her with the research for her book.

Your support for Heritage matters. Without it, Anderson would not have had Heritage’s extensive platform to tell real stories about real Americans who can be helped through smart government programs. She thanks President Trump for making noble efforts to curb the opioid crisis, providing more resources for mental health education, and offering treatment and recovery programs to addicts and victims.

To learn more how Rick overcame his childhood trauma and addictions, watch the video of the event below:

How do you think we should address mental health issues in America?

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