Over the years, my relationship with therapy has ebbed and flowed. I’ve gone from being skeptical about it to going twice a week and everywhere in between. The common thread is that I’ve never been with one therapist long enough to making any long-term changes – until now. And now that I’m noticing some things about myself and how mental health affects my life, I’m facing a new challenge. But now that I’m self-aware about these these things, how can I use this information to improve?Continue reading
Okay, friends. I think I’ve calmed down (at least a little) from my earlier post this week. While I hope that some of you checked out some of the links, there was also a part of me that hoped you didn’t need to go through my list of anti-racism resources because you’ve been doing your own research. But I digress! In other parts of the reading, research and learning I’ve done this week, I’ve also found that there are pockets of people who aren’t sure “how they can help” – or maybe don’t think they can help at all. I want to address those people because I think anyone can help support this movement. And I know that because of my experience with a different cause – mental health*.
*Please note. There are MANY differences between these causes. In fact, there are a few CLEAR differences in particular. If you need details, hit me up in the comments! But sometimes understanding can come from finding common ground.Continue reading
I’ve written a ton of posts on this blog during ‘Awareness Months’ over the years: Mental Health Month, Mental Illness Awareness Week, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, World Mental Health Day…the list goes on. I appreciate those days because not only does it shine a spotlight on a specific issue, but it emboldens people to talk about their experience in a way they might not do any other day, week or month of the year.
And while I appreciate those days, I’m never really sure what to say in the days and weeks after it’s over. What should we do? Is there an action that needs to be taken? How do we take what we’ve learned over that time and apply it to the future?
I thought about this especially this year after the end of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. I didn’t know to do when the month was over, because I wasn’t sure how to continue to educate others on suicide prevention and make people feel comfortable enough to share their stories and experiences.
It feels easier for some during an ‘Awareness’ month because others are speaking out, which I very much appreciate – in fact, I think that’s one of the biggest benefits of these ‘awareness’ movements. But it also makes me wonder why it’s so much harder to speak out the other days, weeks and months of the year when mental health isn’t necessarily a central focus on a national or global scale.
Sometimes it feels like there’s an all-or-nothing attitude toward attention given to mental health movements. This attitude isn’t from our community, of course; the bloggers, activists and organizations that I read from and follow are wonderful at continuing the conversation year-round. No, this is more of an attitude from the general public. It feels like if we’re not in the middle of an awareness month, then mental health is not on the radar.
Look, I know that there won’t be the same level of attention given to a cause outside of a time of awareness; that’s fine with me. I’m honestly just wondering why there can’t be a happy medium for this situation. Mental health doesn’t need to be at the forefront for everyone, but it’s also part of our daily lives. It comes up in the thoughts we have and the decisions we make. There’s space for it in the daily conversation. It might not always be happy and uplifting conversation, but that’s life.
Maybe the drop off that I’m talking about isn’t as extreme as I’m making it out to be, but that’s always how I’ve felt once these times of awareness are over. If I’m wrong, please let me know! I guess I just want mental health to be part of the daily conversation in some way, and not just when it’s Mental Health Day/Week/Month, etc. That’s not such a wild thought, right?