May is Mental Health Month

It’s easy for us to talk about our physical health. We’ll discuss, at length, our cholesterol numbers, our exercise habits, or our physical ailments. But, ask us about our mental health, and most of us tend to clam up.

I’ve spent years and years and years working on my own mental health, yet I often feel vulnerable when I discuss depression. (You’ll notice, we are nearly in June and I’m just now posting my “May is Mental Health Month” blog.) Although I sometimes find it difficult to talk about mental health, that doesn’t stop me. I write and speak on this topic not because it is easy for me to open my heart, but because I feel it is important for me to do so. Why waste pain? The whole point of making it through life’s challenges is so that we can help others. So today, I’m writing about mental health awareness.

As you probably know, I’m not a psychologist. I don’t have all of “the answers.” I haven’t experienced the death of a child, the loss of a spouse, or so many of life’s other tragedies. But, I do know sadness…I know the feeling that the air will choke me. I know what it feels like to be immobilized by psychological pain. And I do know there is always, always hope.

Feelings of isolation and hopelessness can be so overwhelming. In those moments of darkness, the simplest interactions with others can allow us to see the possibility of hope. For those of you who need to improve your mental health, go for it! Why wait? Life is so precious. There are people, organizations, and affiliations that are dedicated to helping people just like you. You are not alone. Reach out.

For those who have excellent mental health, take the challenge to increase your awareness of mental health issues. Be compassionate to those who are struggling. Reach out to others in need.

Here are a few websites I’ve found to be interesting:

National Institute of Mental Health, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Heather Hays (an advocate for suicide prevention), Mental Health America, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Thank you for reading. Let’s spread the word on mental health.

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