my story

As a young teen, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and prescribed medication. I felt shame and denial- I didn’t want depression and medication to be my reality. For several years I experienced a cycle of depression, medication, shame, denial, stopping medication, and falling back into depression. My crippling symptoms and thoughts kept me from thriving and having functional relationships.

While in college, I opened up to the benefits of therapy through counseling. It was uncomfortable at first, but I started to grow from the experience of sharing my vulnerable feelings in a safe, professional environment. I look back and see this decision as such a beautiful and necessary step in the direction of my healing and growth. My struggle with the cycle of depression and medication wasn’t over, but I was developing new skills, learning new language, and accessing resources to keep me on the path of healing.

I graduated from nursing school in 2008 and went directly to work in an ICU. This experience was invaluable for my career, and it taught me something unexpected while I was there. I saw firsthand how sick a person could become because of common everyday lifestyle choices like poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol use, and lack of physical activity. I witnessed situations where moral and ethical dilemmas in end-of-life care significantly changed my outlook on modern healthcare. I realized I wanted to be part of healthcare in a preventative and holistic way for myself and others.

When I became pregnant with our first son, I needed to address the use of depression medication and my decision was to wean off completely. I went into the journey of having my first baby without the support of medication and counseling. Not surprisingly, postpartum was one of the most difficult and lonely experiences of my life. I desperately wanted to be healthy and whole for my baby, without medication. I was shocked and overwhelmed at how difficult and lonely early motherhood could be, especially without the necessary support and resources. I’m so grateful for the perspective I gained from my experience, and believe that no one should feel lost and alone, especially in that phase of life. The support of community is paramount to a healthy postpartum recovery.

I became a Board-Certified Nurse Coach because I see the need for a more holistic approach in healthcare. I also see an opportunity to use my life experience and education to create the space I needed for other women.

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Today, I embrace my own path of healing that includes medication, as well as mindfulness practices, nourishing foods, and consistent involvement with a safe loving community. I continue to navigate the journey of depression with gratitude for the passion it has birthed in me, to support other women on their journey of embracing who they are.

Jala Verner, RN, NC-BC

Jala Verner, RN, NC-BC

Jala has a passion for serving women and children and believes in creating a safe, nonjudgmental space where true growth and change can happen. She has personally been transformed by Nurse Coaching and is thrilled to live out her dream by supporting others in their own journey. After graduating with a Bachelors degree in nursing from Oklahoma Christian University, Jala worked in the ICU at Baptist Integris and then worked in case management at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, walking with women and families through breast or cervical cancer, pregnancy, high risk pregnancy, & postpartum. She also assisted families in the process of acquiring out of state care or private duty nursing care for special needs children. Most recently she has had the privilege of raising and homeschooling her two sons, finding joy in helping them to learn and grow. She has a passion for teaching emotional intelligence and music to children, and has the privilege to teach a class including both at a preschool in Houston. She became a Transformative Nurse Coach through the Nurse Coach Collective in 2018 and is very excited to be taking a new direction in her nursing career with Well Family.

As a health care professional and a mother, I relate to others who might feel overwhelmed by all the information out there on self care, health & wellness, safe products, safe food and on and on. I lovingly stand with others who are navigating the same things and help guide them through taking the actions needed to make changes towards betterment in their life.