1 in 7 Australians experience mental illness at some point in their life according to Beyond Blue, and one Wagga woman has opened up about her own struggles in the hope of ending the stigma.
Cynthia-Lee Kershaw has spent her life searching for a connection with her mother after being taken off her when she was a young child, but in recent months, finally found it.
For Cynthia, her journey was about forgiveness and understanding, and she wants to spread the message that anything is possible no matter how difficult.
"My mum recently passed away, about three weeks ago," Cynthia said.
"She battled through a pretty rough life, it wasn't all that great and she was in and out of doctors and mental health facilities."
After living in Queensland for most of her late life, Cynthia's mum moved to Sydney recently where she reached out for her daughter's help.
"I ended up spending a lot of time caring for her because she had no one else to, but it was difficult especially with kids of my own," she said.
"It was traumatic right to the end and even after with planning a funeral all on my own, but to see your mum suffer, see her overcome a serious drug addiction, it's not easy.
"Growing up, I had to watch her try and commit suicide so many times, so then to have to recently call ambulances for her and see her ill again brought all those memories back."
Cynthia said the struggle was not just sympathetic but empathetic - she dealt with her own mental health issues and knew the pain all too well.
"I got to the point where I just thought, where do I go from here?" she said.
"It took me a long time to be able to forgive my mum. I was so hurt for so many years, and I didn't understand it but now I have such a greater understanding of why she did what she did, and how her life affected her.
"She didn't have parents herself so she didn't know how to be one, but to come back these last few years and have that relationship with her shows people can change."
The result was a feeling of true self-appreciation, according to Cynthia.
"Getting through this left me feeling like, in a way, I have achieved a lot, and to be in and out of foster care, in between homes, passed around to my mum and dad, and for mum to recently pass away, it is incredible to be able to still be here standing and have a future ahead of me," she said.
"To say I'm getting somewhere in life, and to not feel hate towards someone who put me through the troubles I have had to live through, just goes to show you can come from a broken home and have mental health issues, but you can overcome them."
Cynthia has four children of her own, and said watching her 8-year-old daughter build a relationship with her grandmother before she passed was inspiring.
"It has taken a big toll on her though because she had a close relationship with mum, she always shares stories about her Nan and the impact she had on her life, and it is surreal to see that because I didn't even have that with mum," she said.
There was one message Cynthia wanted to be heard above all.
"You see so many kids from broken homes who just think they can't do any good, but they can," she said.
"You just need to find the patience within yourself to keep moving forward and then you can do anything.
"It's time to end the stigma."
If you or someone you know needs help with mental health issues, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or in an emergency, call 000.