© 2019 by Molly S. Hillery

Molly is passionate about advocacy work, as well as giving a voice to those who live with mental illness.

Where I Stand, Inc. is a mental health organization that works towards the prevention and intervention of mental illness through education, awareness, and hope. Molly first became involved with Where I Stand in the spring of 2015 as an advocate and blogger, submitting monthly blogs that centered around her personal experience with mental illness. One of her first pieces about eating disorder recovery reached over 19,000 people on the first day it was posted, and was shared over 9,500 times on Facebook. It was later reposted on Upworthy, and highlighted on several eating disorder resource pages such as Project Heal, ED Bites, and Eating Recovery Center.

In the spring of 2016, Molly advanced her role within the organization. She began overseeing an integral part of the advocacy work that is done through Where I Stand- the blog. She managed anywhere from twelve bloggers at once; her roles ranging from helping writers create motivating topics that will inspire readers, to editing and posting all of their work. She also filtered through continuous blogger submissions and recruited new writers through various social media outlets.

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In the spring of 2015, Molly participated in a voluntary research study done by the University of Iowa, regarding her experience with eating disorder treatment and recovery. In the fall of 2015, she was approached by a local news anchor named Sarah McCarthy, with interest in covering a series of stories regarding eating disorders. In November of 2015, Molly conducted a television interview with her about her experience. The story was broadcasted on local news one week later.

Molly used her story to highlight the lack of resources and eating disorder care in many states, but specifically the state of Iowa, where she currently resides. Gaining access to appropriate treatment and care is a topic that she is passionate about, due to the fact that she had to seek specialized care in two different states, not including Iowa. The goal of sharing her story was to raise awareness, plant seeds, and help others feel less alone.

Molly's goal is to continue advocacy work in the field of eating disorders, in order to reduce the shame and stigma associated with seeking help. She hopes that by speaking out, she is encouraging others to find their voice and path to healthing-- something she was very fortunate to have been afforded while in treatment.

For Hillery, sharing her story with others is an important part of that effort.
 

“I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means, but I had willingness and support and I think it’s important for people to know that it can get better,” Hillery said. “Even if people are in a tough spot, being vulnerable and being honest and sharing what they went through is powerful.” -Sarah McCarthy, KCRG-TV News
 

Advocacy in the News

Supporters of the annual Take Back the Night march along downtown Iowa City streets Thursday, April 28, 2011, in Iowa City, Iowa. Supporters have been meeting since 1979 to call attention to the plight of sexual abuse and other violence against women victims. (Jim Slosiarek/SourceMedia Group News) -THE GAZETTE

While attending college, Molly was active in Take Back The Night rallies on her campus. She is pictured below in a local newspaper (leading the march, holding the megaphone).