I’ve said so many times before that I love Motivation Monday – it makes me happy, makes my outlook on the day a bit more positive, and brings a smile to my face. (picture source)
But sometimes, a motivational quote or blog post is NOT enough to make you truly happy. This week is National Mental Illness Awareness Week, and when Clare posted about it I knew I wanted to help share the message.
The term “mental illness” covers so many conditions – not just the ones you see in movies like schizophrenia, ADD, or autism, but also anxiety, depression, eating disorders, seasonal affective disorder, OCD, and so many more. Did you know that 1 in 4 adults (or almost 62 million Americans) struggle with a diagnosable mental illness in any given year? Unfortunately, there is so much stigma around “being depressed” or “having a mental illness” that 60% of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment. This is scary, and sad. If you or someone you care about might benefit from talking to someone, please, please do so (or help them to do so)! There IS help out there, and it CAN get better for you.
My family and I have been impacted by mental illness in many ways, and it’s such a tough issue to deal with. However, I hope that by talking about mental illness, we can start to reduce some of the stigma.
(picture source) (picture source)
So tell me in the comments … What can you do to make someone smile today? Any thoughts to share on Mental Health Awareness Week?
I work at a Community Mental Health clinic in Michigan. We treat “the worst of the worst” and honestly, at first it freaked me out. But now (8 years later) it feels like working in any other type of clinic. These people are sick and need treatment. Whether the illness is in their head, liver, stomach, etc, it is all sickness that can be treated!
Also, my dad has schizophrenia, so I have first hand knowledge of the pain of mental illness on a family.
Thanks for posting 🙂
Wow, Katie, you have your hands full! Thank you for doing what you do – we really need people like you and I admire your hard work!
It really is NOT selfish to love yourself at all. In fact, more people need to do this!
I completely agree, Gigi! Somehow, we’re taught differently – I always felt (and still feel, sometimes) guilty if I do something purely for myself, but sometimes that is healthy, needed, and deserved!
Thanks for raising the awareness. Having seen my grandfather suffer through Alzheimer’s and deteriorate through the years, I find raising awareness to be incredibly important.
To make someone smile today- Living in such a fast paced, hectic life, even a simple thank you with a smile at the grocery store is enough to elicit a smile from someone. Wow, how times have changed.
Sorry you’ve had to see your grandfather go through Alzheimer’s … watching family members suffer is really heart-wrenching. You’re right that times have changed, and it’s a little sad that just a thank you can make someone smile, but it’s also pretty great! Simple little acts of thoughtfulness and kindness can make a big difference!
Great post, Meg. Thank you.
Thank you, Laurie!
Thank you for this Megan. This is a topic I care so much about. Not only because I work in this world but it is also something that my family has dealt with in my ways. One area I think deserves more attention is the stigma that is often associated with mental illness. In our judgmental world, having a mental health disorder can give you a stamp that at times may feel impossible to get rid of. Your mental health does not define you and those that have faced such challenges only prove to us their strength and not their weaknesses.
Another quote that I love … “those that have faced such challenges only prove to us their strength and not their weaknesses.” Very thoughtful words, Davida! Thank you!
Love this. I think it is so important to bring awareness to mental health. So many people suffer from mental illnesses and don’t get the help and respect that they deserve. When it comes to mental illness I think our schools, work places, etc. need to step up in educating people and getting information out there that having a mental illness doesn’t mean you should be treated differently.
Thanks for the supportive and thoughtful words, Christine. You raise a good point that education would go a long way towards equal treatment.
Incredibly important – I wrote about this on my blog … had no idea until I saw your post. And it is *definitely* a sign of strength – you go against a stigma, face criticism, all to get yourself healthy in a way many people STILL don’t accept? That is NOT weakness!
Thanks for the post!
Thanks so much for helping spread the message, Michael! The more people with the courage to talk about it and encourage those who need help to seek it, the better.
mental health awareness is SO important and while it’s sad that it often takes tragedy and poor endings to get it the attention it deserves, at least more and more people are taking notice of the poor access to mental health care in america. i hope we can see real change soon.
I couldn’t agree more, Caitlin. Hopefully by talking about it, we can start the wave of positive change and eliminate some of the tragedies and poor endings you mention.
I just cut up green beans, asparagus, green pepper, zucchini, and cauliflower to make veggie packets on the grill for tonight’s dinner. I HOPE that makes Lindsey and Jeff smile. I also made a pot of onion soup with lentils for them. ::))
YUM – I love your veggie packets at the ranch, and onion soup with lentils sounds delicious! Wish I was there with you guys!
Mental illness is something that is near and dear to my heart, so I’m really glad that you brought this up. It is SO important to reduce the stigma. I didn’t know that the statistics were as high as they are, but it isn’t surprising. I think it is sad and scary that so many women, young and old, also suffer from depression at rates much higher than men. I think it’s really important to open up the dialogue and to make it okay to say that you need help. It’s not weakness – it’s strength.
Amy, I LOVE your quote … “It’s not weakness – it’s strength.” I couldn’t agree more!