Linda: Ardently advocating for mental health

Retirement at age 35 may sound nice to most people, but for Linda Rinehart, it felt like a nightmare.

LindaFirst diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1984 – at the age of 24 – Linda saw her life change dramatically when she was forced into medical retirement, after her mental health disorder began to interfere significantly with her ability to maintain a successful corporate career. After two dark years in a deep depression, and an attempt to take her own life, she finally began to accept her condition and found a renewed life purpose by speaking out with her own story of recovery.

Today, Linda’s mission is to inspire and empower others living with a mental health or substance use disorder, as well as the families and friends who support those individuals. An ardent advocate, Linda is actively involved in bringing more awareness to the need for better mental health care in Colorado and across the country. She has earned the Distinguished Toastmaster award from Toastmasters International and frequently serves as a speaker for “In Our Own Voice,” a nationally acclaimed educational program sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help the public understand the realities of living with mental illness. She is also a freelance writer who specializes in articles regarding mental health.

Linda lives with her partner, Dori, in the metro Denver area.