Advocate with Julia

Julia has had anxiety for as long as she can remember. It became such a normal part of her life that she grew comfortable with it, until middle school. That’s when it started to get worse. She became depressed but assumed it was just part of her anxiety and so she kept it to herself. Julia continued to hide her symptoms until high school, and her depression escalated: everything seemed gray and she felt as if she was just going through the motions. She began harming herself in order to try and cope with her feelings.

The good news is, Julia got help. She went to therapy, was supported and encouraged by her family, and eventually worked with the Behavioral Health Department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Her journey is a testament to the fact that it can get better. Learn more and be inspired by watching Julia tell her story.

VIEWER NOTE: Julia’s journey is an inspiring story to share with your loved ones to help start the conversation in your own family about mental health. We encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it with your family and share it with your loved ones.


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Julia Paxton, On Our Sleeves Patient Advocate

“You just have to hold on. Depression doesn't get to win. It doesn't get to take you.”

- Julia Paxton, On Our Sleeves Patient Advocate

On Our Sleeves Resources

The first step to becoming an advocate for a child who is struggling or who may be struggling with a mental illness is to become educated about the topic. On Our Sleeves provides resources from the experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to learn more about a variety of mental health conditions and other concerns.



Anxiety disorders affect one out of every eight children. Untreated, young people with anxiety disorders are at a higher risk to struggle in school and in their relationships with adults and peers.

Body Image


Depression is a common and serious form of a childhood mental disorder. It is more severe than normal sadness. It can interfere with a child's energy, concentration, sleep and appetite.

Dealing with Loss

Suicidal Behaviors

By definition, a suicide is a death caused by self-directed, harmful behavior with the intent to die as a result of the behavior.

Physical Abuse

Research You Can Use: "13 Reasons Why"

Read more about our behavioral health experts' research around the "13 Reasons Why" series.


Research You Can Use: Self-Poisoning and Suicide

Read more about our expert research surrounding suicide attempts and self-poisoning.

Big Lots Behavioral Health Scholarship

Julia Paxton revives scholarship from Big Lots Foundation

Julia and her mom, with Jeremy Ball, Big Lots Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy and Events, and Niki Shafer, Senior Vice President, Outreach, Nationwide Children's Foundation.

The Big Lots Behavioral Health Scholarship is awarded annually to a student dedicated to pursuing a career in behavioral and mental health services. Industry observers predict that the supply of professionals in select behavioral health professions will be more than a quarter million short of projected demand by 2025. The shortage of providers is particularly problematic in rural areas. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine pointed out that 65% of non-metropolitan counties in America do not have a psychiatrist. Through the visionary leadership and generous philanthropy of Big Lots, we can work to reverse these trends and ensure that children have access to the care they need.

Application information will be available in fall of 2019. For additional questions, please email