NewsHillsborough County

Actions

Reality TV star joining Tampa Bay Thrives in mental health awareness campaign

Reality TV star joining Tampa Bay Thrives in mental health awareness campaign
Posted at 5:25 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 10:31:53-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Colony Reeves lives a glamorous life. She’s won beauty pageants, modeled, and is now on the popular Netflix reality show Selling Tampa.

But what you won’t see on her Instagram feed is her struggles with depression.

“Mental health has no face," she said. "A lot of people think that someone struggling with mental health, they look a certain way.”

But Reeves said while in college in Tallahassee she was assaulted. That led to a year-long battle with extreme depression.

She first reached out to her mother for help.

“I knew that I just wanted to get better and I didn’t want to feel the things that I was feeling anymore and so she encouraged me to get therapy,” Reeves said.

She continues to attend therapy and she wants others dealing with mental health issues to be able to do the same.

That’s why she’s working with Tampa Bay Thrives, a coalition of more than 30 organizations working together to help.

They’ve established a hotline at 844-YOU-OKAY, giving people a chance to figure out what support they need. And what’s available.

“Today’s launch focuses on increasing that access to mental health appointments, to shorten those wait times for people so people can start their journey for help and start feeling better faster,” Reeves said.

Tampa Bay Thrives said Florida ranked next to last in the country when it comes to access to mental health services. They say 1.8 million Floridians are going untreated for mental illness even though many of them have insurance.

Now, that Reeves is in the spotlight on Selling Tampa, she wants to use her fame to help others and let them know it’s okay to get help.

“It changed my life because it made me more open to talk about this uncomfortable traumatic event that happened to me and it made me start my journey of healing," Reeves said.