Monday, June 6, 2016

Mental Health Series - Mental Illness a 365 Day Issue

Throughout the year we have various days or weeks, even a month set aside for a reminder to be aware of mental health, or other more significant issue. I'd like to make it known that manic episodes, depression, meltdowns, panic attacks, emotional upheaval, and suicide don't follow the calendar. January is Mental Wellness month, February uses a week for National Eating Disorders Awareness week, March has a National Sleep Awareness week, March is Self Harm Awareness month, April celebrates a World Health Day, April is Stress Awareness month, May celebrates a National Children's Mental Health Day, May also identifies a week for National Anxiety and Depression, May also celebrates a week for National Prevention Week by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), May is Mental Health month, June is PTSD Awareness month, as well as designating one day for National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness, July is National Minority Mental Health month, September sets aside a day for a World Suicide Prevention day and a National Psychotherapy day, then later in September we celebrate a whole week for National Suicide Prevention. September is full of more special days: Recovery Month SAMHSA, Self-Awareness Month, Self-Improvement Month, October has a National Depression Screening day and a World Mental Health day and even a Mental Illness Awareness week, November has an International Survivors of Suicide day and Mental Health Wellness week. Let's keep these awareness days and weeks going, but also remember, Mental Illness is not something you can cubbyhole into a day, week, or month. It's a 365 day issue and must be address as such. Please help those whose voices cannot be heard.

I've created a Brave Page to show my support and advocacy for more Mental Illness recognition. Every purchase sends $10.00 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

If you would like to help with this cause, either by sharing this blog, the Brave Page link, or purchasing an item, that would be great. 

If you want to share your story, I'm always here to listen. There are so many untold stories out there. Yours may be one of them. There is no judgement here. There is no condensation. There is no pointing fingers or responses like, "just get over it" or "you don't look sick". Don't those responses make you just want to run away and hide? I know they do for me. Here is your opportunity to share your story, maybe for the first time, in an environment that is supportive and caring.

A dear friend sent me a prayer when I was having some really emotional episodes. It's not a long prayer, but it's very powerful. Read the words. Take then to heart. If you have a journal, copy this pray in it. I did. It's a wonderful reminder of the love and support of others.

"Lord, I thank You that You love and care about me enough to know me well.  You know all about me, and You still love me.  God, I pray I would sense Your amazing love especially when I don't feel known or loved by others.  Whenever I am in a place where I know no one, help me to sense Your love and connection to me in a deeper way than ever."

Have a blessed day.


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