A mental health survivor turns mental health mentor

Miranda Bayne was 13 years old when she began to suffer the first signs of a mental disorder. That was 12 years ago. Now, numerous hospitalizations and life crises later, she is a brave and passionate fighter, not only for herself and her emotional well-being, but for the thousands of others who are just like her.

Bayne credits the Carrier Clinic, an NJ psychiatric hospital and recovery center, for giving her this courage and inner strength.

Each day, Bayne, a resident of Hillsborough, N.J., writes a blog about the ravages and the recovery that she has undergone. Readers can find it at, where they will be let into her world of past experiences and current-day advice. It is eye-opening and heart-rending reading for all.

Bayne recounts her plunge into personal hell, frequently harming herself and missing school – back then as a sophomore in Warren Hills. By the 12th grade she was no longer capable of attending class and was forced to be home-schooled. “I went to a lot of different therapists,” Bayne recalls. “One mentioned I should go to inpatient treatment. I toured the adolescent unit at Carrier. I was admitted two days later. I felt safe there. I actually didn’t want to leave. But I had to be moved to the adult unit when I turned 18.” There she was diagnosed with a litany of psychological ills, from borderline personality disorder, to anxiety, to bipolar disorder, and later to an eating disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

She credits a one-to-one staff member at Carrier with changing her life. “She shared her poems with me before I went to bed. I began to look forward to those nights. I could talk with her about anything.”

And now this grateful 25-year-old woman is attempting to return the same favor that was paid to her. Bayne’s blog, written under the heading of “Stop Pretending,” is generating a robust 1,500 “reads” every day. One typical comment was: “I guess by sending this email I’m hoping for something, but I’m not really sure what it is. I have questions for you … I’m thrilled to know that I’m not the only one like this.”

Not the only one, indeed. As Bayne points out, she still takes part in mental health therapy. Helping that process along is her strong desire to give back to Carrier Clinic and to her many readers who have undertaken a similar journey. One way in which she copes is as a volunteer for Carrier Clinic’s Annual “Walk of Hope.”

Bayne will again be at this year’s Carrier Walk of Hope, which kicks off with registration at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 15, followed by the 1-mile stroll at 10 a.m. The Courier News/Home News Tribune/My Central, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is a major media sponsor of the event, along with NJ 101.5 Radio.

On-line registration is easy. Visit

Miranda Bayne hopes to see you there, reminding: “Walk of Hope is literally about saving lives.”