Mental health awareness week: What does this mean to me?
In a world this fast paced, it seems one of the latest trends is to raise awareness for under appreciated causes. What do all these causes fighting for awareness have in common? No one wants to feel forgotten. No one wants their story to go untold or their cause to be deemed unworthy.
Therefore, this month we talk about and give credence to an issue affecting almost 1 in 5 Americans – mental health issues. What does giving credence to this issue look like? It means taking a step back and thinking about things in a different way. Maybe Susie in accounting is not “weird” or “different”; maybe she has had a horribly tragic year and can barely keep it together. Instead of ostracizing these people, we should be embracing them and teaching our children to embrace them as well. Someone validating our feelings or showing a simple act of kindness can be a glimmer of hope. We can choose to focus on the positive and ask the questions or we can continue to pretend it does not exist.
Mental health awareness means dropping the us-versus-them mentality and giving others the benefit of the doubt. Most people we meet are trying their best and need others to see the good in them. This month: spread love, positivity and pay it forward.
-Sammi (Diagnostic Assessment Therapist in Olmsted County)