Mental Health Awareness Month: Can We Eliminate The Stigma of Mental Illness?
Did you know that 57.7 million Americans suffer with mental illness? That's one in four of us. Chances are, if you're not one of those four, you most likely know someone who is. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've had my bouts with depression and anxiety over the years. Thankfully, I always recognized when I needed to reach out for help, and when I did, I got it.
But because of the stigma associated with it, it's not always easy for people to reach out for help.
That's why it is so important to shed light on this issue and help eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and on May 18th bloggers were encouraged to come together through a Blog Party to help bring awareness to the issue of mental health. The goal was to help educate the public, to decrease stigma, and to discuss strategies for making lasting lifestyle changes to promote overall health and wellness.
Take a little time and visit some of the blogs that participated in the Mental Health Blog Party ...
- Somebody Heal Me -- Challenging Stigma
- Our Journey Through Life -- Great Timing
- Not Super ... Just Mom -- Blogging for PPD/PPA Awareness
- Fight For Your Wellness
- You Have It, Too ... - Sorry I'm (fashionably) Late
- All Work and No Play
- Just Gliding Along - Blogging for Mental Health
- and puppy dog tales -- I can't think of a good title for this post
- From Wellsphere -- Beyond Postpartum
I think one of the most important aspects of awareness is providing sources to find help. Whether you are dealing with mental illness yourself or just want to support someone who is, the Internet can be a great source of information and support.
Maybe you're holding down two jobs or can't find work. Maybe you're the parents of young children or the children of aging parents. Maybe you face a rush of daily demands or one potentially life-changing challenge. Whatever your situation, we are here to help.
The site has 10 helpful tools ...
1. Connect with others
2. Stay positive
3. Get physically active
4. Help others
5. Get enough sleep
6. Create joy and satisfaction
7. Eat well
8. Take care of your spirit
9. Deal better with hard times
10. Get professional help if you need it
Sometimes the best way to bring awareness to an important issue is to link to the people blogging and living with it firsthand. You can show these bloggers support just by clicking over and checking out their blogs. Even better, leave them a comment and let them know they're not alone.
Here are a few of the many courageous women living and blogging with mental illness.
From Sugar Filled Emotions -- Recovery Starts ...
The first time I stepped into my counselor’s office was not “the first day of the rest of my life,” it was not where I wanted to be, and it was not the beginning of my depression recovery. It was not a pleasant experience, it was not fun answering all of her questions, and it was not likely that I would want to go back.
From Me Plus Bipolar ...
I'm a female in my late 20s living in Australia. I have had depression since I was a child and my diagnosis was changed to Bipolar Disorder in early May 2010. I'm trying to find my way through life and the best way to deal with my illness.
As I wander the earth in search of my peace and happiness, this is where I'll post my rants where it concerns my mental health as I discover things about my Bipolar Disorder, my Borderline Personality Disorder, and other medical issues. Here is where you will read and explore the things I am going through.
From random ramblings -- Me, the Husband, & OCD ...
But I love him and have to live with him and it’s a part OF him, so I deal as best as I can. I try to be supportive and patient and understand but some of it is just odd and frustrating and wears me out.
I see him running through some of his rituals and I want to shake him and just yell ... snap out of it!!
This is a blog about my feelings, my thoughts, and my journey as a new mom fighting with this betch called Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety (PPD/PPA).
... Oh, by the way, I'm totally kicking its ass.
Other Helpful Links
What do you think? Is it possible to eventually eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness? Are you blogging about mental illness? Do you know someone who is? If so, please leave your link in comments.
Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
Also at Catherine-Morgan.com