9 months ago · Leah Fogt · Comments Off on Mental Health Awareness Week
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and today, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. It’s a great time to pause and take inventory of our perceptions, beliefs, experiences, and knowledge about mental health. It’s a great time to be active or get involved in mental health causes or efforts. It’s also a really great opportunity to just talk about mental health issues with those around us.
A common slogan that often circulates in the mental health field that I am especially fond of is “Know Science. No Stigma.” At the core of this catchphrase is the idea of reducing myths and misconceptions about mental health by being informed on the science behind the matter. For example, if we are aware of things like biochemistry and basic physiology, it’s hard to fall into misunderstandings or even judgment of those who struggle with mental illnesses. In my work with clients and their families, I take very seriously the importance of increasing understanding the roles of the body, brain, and chemistry play in recovery and management of mental illnesses. It is helpful in de-stigmatizing and reducing judgment and criticisms.
You don’t have to be a science whiz to reduce the stigmas around mental health though. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking the chance to talk about it. So this week, I have been asking some of my clients what they wished other people knew about mental health. Some were brave and gracious enough to allow me to share their thoughts in this post. Below are some of the insightful, honest, and courageous statements some of my client’s have shared. They have had some really cool things to say, so please give their ideas a good think!
“If you just understood that I’m different than you, and different is okay. I just have to work on things differently.”
“Don’t be afraid to talk about it.”
“People who have mental illness sometimes value life more. They shouldn’t be ashamed of it. There are difficult days but that doesn’t make life unworthy.”
“It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, but once you do, things start to get better. I wish I didn’t wait as long as I did to start therapy.
“Mental Illness is real. It’s not something we make up. It’s a real thing. It’s a real illness. It’s not made up. It’s real struggles.”
“Struggling with mental illness looks different in each person. There shouldn’t be stereotypes. A lot of people don’t know I struggle, because I have a good job and take good care of my family. They don’t know that inside it’s a battle all the time. You probably know more people than you think who have a mental illness.”
Categories: Awareness and News