May 22, 2023

Sidelined by injury, a former nurse seeks depression care

Susan Sandhu struggled to find meaning in her life after an injury forced her to take early retirement. A caring therapist helped her bounce back.

Watch Sandhu’s story: Learning she wasn’t alone helped her start to heal.

As a nurse in the intensive care unit for 25 years, Susan Sandhu had dedicated herself to caring for seriously ill patients. When an injury forced her to take early retirement, she struggled to adjust.

“I became depressed,” she said. “It's such a feeling of emptiness and hopelessness. You can't get out of bed.”

With encouragement from her husband, Sandhu sought help at Kaiser Permanente. She met with psychologist Rebecca Liu and began participating in individual and group therapy.

Levels of care to meet different needs

“In individual sessions, we’re doing the work. We’re doing the therapy. We’re building our relationship,” Liu explained.

Liu considers group therapy another important component of support.

“People talk about the sense of (realizing), ‘I'm not alone … There are people going through almost the exact same thing,’” Liu said.

Back to herself

Today, Sandhu feels like her old self.

“I'm going out, visiting people, having friends and family over. Life is good.”

Learn more about mental health care at Kaiser Permanente.