Hi everyone! Since Mental Health Awareness Month is coming to a close, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve read and seen this month that have inspired me on my own mental health journey. I also wanted to create a space where I could reflect on the writing I’ve done this month and how it could be helpful on your mental health journey as well! Let’s dive in:
#MentalHealthMonth Content That I Loved This Month
What Happens When Americans Can Finally Exhale’ by Ed Yong in The Atlantic – this article was the inspiration for my Tuesday post that focused on the long-term mental health effects that this pandemic is having (and will have) for us going forward.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Drew Robinson’s remarkable second act by Jeff Passan on ESPN – (TW: suicide attempt) – this article is a long-form look at a professional athlete, Drew Robinson, who discusses in detail his failed suicide attempt a year ago. As a former athlete, this hit home about the ways that intense competition often leads to mental health struggles.
Gymanst Katelyn Ohashi shared her mental health journey for Togethxr.
This is Mental Health Awareness Month – My blogging friend Mio over at Mentally Ill in America wrote a great post together about asking the right questions when it comes to mental health.
The Me You Can’t See, a documentary series from Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry – I haven’t been able to watch every episode from this miniseries yet, but I am very excited to see this project from two people who have been spurring on the mental health conversation for years, which is very good to see given their platforms. Per this NPR interview, the series “focuses on the importance of mental health and on what it’s like to struggle with it.”
Reflecting On Mental Health Awareness Month
Every year this month comes and goes, and every year I sit here wondering if I was able to provide worthwhile commentary on mental health. Did I actually say anything new, or did I fall back on years of learning and experience? Both are good approaches, in my opinion, but it’s always good to recognize where we’re coming from.
I am glad that I was able to focus on the pandemic’s impact on mental health this month, and that I deliberately chose to spend time learning and reflecting on that. By sharing my pandemic approach to mental health and how I stay mentally well during periods of uncertainty, I hoped to connect thoughts and feelings from the pandemic to other times in my life.
I’ve seen progress when it comes to the way we talk about mental health over the years, and especially during this last year and a half. Make no mistake, there is still a stigma, and there are many areas where we need to change the way we talk about mental health and wellness in our communities, but I see growth. People are seeing that mental health goes hand-in-hand with the other important aspects of our lives, and we’ve started to see how that benefits us all. Mental health should always be part of the conversation; it should always be something that deserves attention. I hope that this month you were able to have those conversations and push yourself to be honest about your mental health, and I hope you continue to do so when the month is over. It’s a long journey, but trust in the fact that it’s one worth taking.
What’s something you’ve read, listened to, or watched during Mental Health Month that’s impacted you? Have you learned anything new about mental health – or yourself – this month that you want to share? I want to hear about it in the comments below!