Jayson’s Story

The Armstrongs are a Family again

Jayson Armstrong

Mental Health Association of Oklahoma

Jayson Armstrong is a proud veteran who served his country valiantly. But after leaving the Army’s Infantry Division in 2003, there were still many challenges ahead for Jayson and his family.

He came home to be a dad to his first son and resumed civilian life. “But my as-yet-untreated bipolar disorder slowly crumbled my life over the next 10 years,” he says.

By 2013, Jayson had lost his family and was homeless. “Homelessness feels alone and dark,” he recalls.

Then, through help from the Mental Health Association Oklahoma, a United Way partner agency, Jayson moved into an apartment reserved for veterans experiencing homelessness. The transition wasn’t easy.

“It took me a week to even talk,” says Jayson. “But it gave me a safe place to sleep and support staff to help. Then I realized I lived on a floor with other veterans who understood what I’d been through, because they’d been through it too. Having another vet who has been down a similar road helps to tear down that wall.”

Now Jayson has reconnected with his wife and three children. He says he loves how ordinary his life is while he attends one son’s band concerts, plays video games with the other son, and dotes on his youngest daughter. “Now we all live together in a house near beautiful farm land,” he says.

Jayson recalls that he learned in the Army he couldn’t fight battles on his own. And with help from the Mental Health Association Oklahoma, Jayson has fought his hardest battle and won his family back.