I am talking to Jocelyn Bystrom today, teacher on medical leave, turned writer and mental health advocate. Jocelyn will take us through her 7-year struggle to get answers to troubling medical symptoms. Eventually progressing to seizures, cognitive decline, and central apnea and the loss of her driving privileges.  Jocelyn truly hit rock bottom before she found a way forward and is now writing a book about her  medical journey and the road to recovery.

Jocelyn graduated at the age of 17, knowing she wanted to go to university but not knowing what to do. Once she got into every program she applied for, she had to make a decision. With her mother being a teacher and growing up around the world of education, teaching seemed like the right fit. She was inspired by many different teachers and eventually ended up in the role of gifted education teacher after completing a masters in gifted education.

In 2014, she lost that job and was blindsided by her own response to the loss. She didn’t have the tools to cope and grieve for the position that she loved. When she started having symptoms, she largely ignored them and never even considered that her mental well-being could be playing a part.

The stigma around mental health and wellness too often stops people from seeking help. It initially stopped Jocelyn too, so she is advocating for change and wants more education surrounding mental health. Jocelyn reveals her difficult journey with medical issues, caring for a loved one with dementia during a pandemic while also dealing with complex medical issues herself and her eventual diagnosis and miraculous recovery.

To end the episode, Jocelyn explains how trauma affects everyone differently. She also talks about the silver linings to come out of the last few years and the gift of gratitude.

Find out more about Jocelyn and her journey:



8 comments on “Mental Health Matters with Jocelyn Bystrom

  1. Thanks for the fascinating interview with Jocelyn Bystrom.
    Her story gave me a whole new perspective on my own difficult life events and rethinking physical issues I have dealt with. Jocelyn’s focus on finding support of professional mental health practitioners during times of trauma is encouraging. I especially like her suggestion that the simple act of being there for others can be profoundly healing.
    Thanks Again!

    1. I am so glad this was helpful for you. Thank you for sharing how it impacted you.

  2. Thank you Monica for your insightful questions and guidance throughout the interview which supported my desire to advocate for #mentalhealth and #wellness for all. 💞

    1. Thank you for being brave and vulnerable and sharing your story. What a great service to others:)

      1. It was sincerely my pleasure to work with such a skilled interviewer and host Monica❣️You made it 💯easy to be courageous.

        1. Mady Mooney says:

          Hello Jocelyn,

          Your podcast is great! I very much enjoyed listening to it; you are an eloquent and clear speaker!

          I feel the interviewer should have you return for part II, in which you could help others by sharing how you got through the dark times and came out at the other end with new insights and a re-connection to your wisdom self. In spite of all you went through, you never stopped looking for and finding ways to help yourself on an emotional and spiritual level.

          I think others would greatly benefit from hearing your success story.

          1. Thank you for your feedback. Another episode in season 2 is a great idea to explore a complex topic in more detail!

  3. Valerie says:

    Thank you Jocelyn & Monica for sharing your experiences so needed for those who are struggling to find the courage to express the varied outcomes from their trauma induced challenges. The experienced telling provides essential support. Yes, Stronger Together !

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