Hello wonderful human beings, how have you been? This week is mental health awareness week, so I decided to write a post about it.

Mental illness is something really hard to live with, and most people do not have access to the resources they need to overcome the battle. I was lucky to have the support from a school that was able to provide the resources I needed–counseling, psychatric help, medication. Recovery was possible because of their help, but also because I had (and have) people around me who where there every single day.

If you know someone who is struggling with mental illness

Offer your help. A lot of people feel ashamed to ask for help because of the stigma around mental illness. It is not something that people fake to get attention, I am yet to meet someone who is faking mental illness for the attention. The truth is, people need attention. I need people to pay attention to me so that I can feel loved, valid, important, needed, heard. I need people to pay attention to me, so that I can feel like my existence matters.

When you tell someone that they are making up their struggles just to get attention, you are not only invalidating their feelings, but you are also telling them that they don’t deserve the attention they are seeking. MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT MADE UP/FAKED FOR ATTENTION!!!

People need help, they need to know that it is okay to ask for help. Mental Health Awareness Week (and month in May) was created to break the stigma. Mental illness is not a weakness, it is not about being overly sensitive or attention seeker. Mental illness is like having diabetes, when some says “help me, I need insulin” you go and help, right? So why is it that when someone says “help me, my brain isn’t creating the right hormones to appropietly function” there is people that say “stop overreacting,” “it is all in your head,” “just get over it,” etc.

Listen and validate. Let’s make feeling an honest and real part of our daily conversations. Don’t shame people for having feelings, and be honest about your feelings. Talk and listen. Check up on people, if you know that someone is struggling, check on them even if they tell you they are “OKAY.”

Be there. A lot of people feel like they don’t have a support system, even if they do, and they just need the reminder that there are people who love them and who are there to support them. Mental illness isn’t easy, having someone be there for you makes a huge difference. Some times all I need is BJ to sit next to me while I cry because something has triggered my PTSD, or be told that he is still going to love me on those days when I can’t even love myself. Knowing that he isn’t planning on leaving me, gives me motivation to work on bettering myself.

Encourage them to get help. People cannot get through mental illness unless they work on it. Yes, we need the support and resources and sometimes the medication, to get better but we need ourselves to work on getting better. Reminding people that working on their mental health is worth it, that recovery can be achieved, that happiness is possible, that they deserve a better life, can help them realize that they have the power to improve their lives.

Take care of yourself. I remember when I was in nursing school, we learned about the psychological impact that taking care of someone else can have on your own self. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you can’t help others.

Raise awareness. Mental Health is not something people enjoy talking about, but we need to address it. Raising awareness helps people find the resources they need, it helps others realize the importance that mental health plays in our daily life, it helps people feel validated and hopeful, and most importantly it allows to realize there are people who need our help, who things to change, and you can make things change.

The “I need help chart”

I created this chart based on something similar I saw on Pinterest, and I am sharing it because it is really hard for me to vocalize the need for help when I am having a bad day. You can download and modify this chart, so that the people around you have an easier way of knowing when you need help and how they can help you.

Help me raise awareness

I have designed a series of products that you can buy through RedBubble. These products are meant to raise awareness towards mental illness and to show the importance of having a support system.

A little extra Chiffon Top


Click here to buy.

A little extra Throw Pillow


Click here to buy.

A little extra Canvas Print


Click here to buy.

A little extra Acrylic Block


Click here to buy.

Thank you

If you made all the way here (even if you skipped all of my self promotion) I truly appreciate you taking the time read about mental health. I apologize if this sounded a little aggressive, it is meant as a wake up call for those trying to ignore mental illnesses.

As always, let me know what you think about this post. What are things that have helped you, or someone you know, overcome mental illness? Do you have advise, recommendations or resources for those struggling with mental illness? Is there anything you would like to add to enrich this post?

I hope you have a great rest of your week, see you next time.

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