Mental Health Awareness Month

mental Health awareness month

We are approaching the end of the month of May, and if you knew it or not, May is officially, Mental Health Awareness Month.  There are so many things that could be address or discussed regarding this issue, however I feel that it is important to note one simple thing:  Mental Health Matters.

No matter you race, color, creed, religion or financial status, Mental Health Matters.  We all have moment of the need for mental health treatment, and the real issue is that not many of us seek that treatment when we need it.  We turn to substances, people, things or we go into avoidance mode.  Because we don’t know how to deal with things, we choose to simply not deal with them.  This serves no one.  It definitely does you no good.

Mental Health stats

I too have had moments where I have been depressed, down, extremely sensitive and unable to adequately express my emotions.  I have been to counseling, and as a therapist and coach I have counseled others.  I know hurt pain, loss, rejection, loneliness,  sadness and grief.  I have watch loved ones die, I have seen the effect of addiction and I have had to make medical decision for my parent not knowing if he would live or die.  At some point in time we all endure some or most of these things and it takes a toll on our mental health.

As we near the end of Mental Health Awareness month, I want to let you know that you are not alone on this journey.  There are people who are here to listen to help and to just be there if that is what you need.  I have some amazing friends, those who will just hold the phone while I cry, those who take me out for ice cream, and those who know those things I may be ashamed or embarrassed to share with anyone else.  Other than going to see my therapist, who may not always be available when I need her, these people help me to survive.  They are my life line.

mental health matters

My advice would be to seek help if you need it.  If you don’t feel like yourself, if you feel loss, down, discouraged, if you lack the energy or the desire to do anything or go anywhere, you need to consider talking to someone.  You do not always have to go and find a high priced prestigious therapist.  There are lots of free resources that can get you started on your journey to healing.

The first place to start is with your health insurance.  If you have health insurance, contact you insurance provider and ask about mental health services.  For most employer provided insurances the information may be on your insurance card.  If you are uninsured or if your employer does not provide mental health services organizations such as NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Health have locations around the world that can assist you.

The second thing I would suggest is to build a support system.  Find people who will avail themselves to you, people who will listen and people who will be encouraging but not participate in a pity a party.  People who will help you move past the rut you may find yourself in.  And also be ready when you can to reciprocate when needed.

Finally, do not let stigma keep you from receiving the help and assistance you deserve.  Know that there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with mental illness or asking for help.  Millions of people suffer daily and while many do not receive the care or treatment they deserve, millions are speaking up and speaking out daily.  You are not alone on this journey.  It is absolutely ok to ask for and receive help.  Most of the time it is only a phone call away.

Be Blessed! Be Fabulous!

pink-lips

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Suffering in Silence

suffer in silence

As I browsed my Facebook timeline this morning, I saw a number of posts speaking to personal, deeply personal issues many of my Facebook friends have been going through.  Most of it was related to illness.  Other posts were related to attempted suicide and survival, still other posts were related to dating or the attempt to find a suitable mate.  Some people were facing diagnostic tests and surgeries while others were reflecting on how far they have come on their journey.  No matter what the circumstance was I am thankful that they had the courage and conviction to share what they had gone through.  Their testimony can lead to a breakthrough or deliverance for someone else.

As I reflect, there were many things that I have experienced in my life and I am thankful that God has given me the strength and at times the platform to share my life experiences.  I was the product of teenage parents, yet I did not repeat the cycle.  I have had various family members that were addicted to alcohol or drugs, which had significant impacts not just on my life but on the lives of other family members as well.  I was molested as a child and I have endured health challenges and relationship issues.  But through it all, I survived, I looked for lessons to be learned and I became a better person because of what I experienced and in spite of what I experienced.

read my mind

For people of faith we know that if it had not been for the Lord on our side… For those who are not people of faith, I am not sure where your strength and endurance comes from maybe role models or strong support system, but for those who believe, in the absence of role models and support systems we go to the Rock!  It tales strength and courage to make it through those challenges that seem impossible to bear.  It takes even more strength and courage to talk about your experiences and to be a beacon of hope for others. What I have learned is that as you GROW through what you GO through the lesson is lost on you.  It is more so for others so that they can see God in you and know that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Stop suffering in silence.  We were not meant to do that.   We were meant to be a blessing to others, but, know that you cannot be a blessing until you have healed and dealt with the issues that you face.  You don’t want to try to help someone when you are still in the throes of your experiences.  Once you have healed, whether it be getting help from a professional, working on your own issues, reaching out to those who love you make sure to NOT suffer in silence.  And know that there is always a rainbow after the rain.

rainbow