So, let’s talk about the why. Why do we dedicate an entire month to create Awareness around Mental Health?
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Mental Health Awareness”? Do you think about the movie ‘Girl Interrupted’ or every time you hear the name “Clarice” you have shivers down your spine? Perhaps you have a picture of people wearing white gowns, living out life locked inside an insane asylum. Maybe you picture people who are depressed and cannot get out of bed, people who lean on addiction as an escape mechanism for past trauma.
You may even think of that person who comes in for massage therapy because they have pain in their body and they say “it’s just stress” or maybe it’s a combination of all the above. Maybe you are experiencing for the very first time anxiety and fear around living through a pandemic and now you may be experiencing what we are calling “re-entry anxiety” after covid. Many people are experiencing PTSD, fear, stress and anxiety from this past time period and when thinking about re-entering what we can consider some sense of normalcy. If that is you, you are not alone! That’s a real thing!
So, which one of these things are worthy of talking about during Mental Health Awareness Month? The more I continue working with all different types of people inside my mentoring and coaching programs, it underscores what I originally anticipated. There is no one picture for criteria that prequalifies the need for spreading awareness. There’s no one label that deserves more attention than another. If it matters to you, it is important.
What I mean here is that when it comes to Mental Health, everyone deserves to experience wellness and any of the above scenarios or labels that have been put upon you or others does not define who you are. It really defines who you were or may have been. By exploring your own Mental Health and sharing about your personal challenges, you are spreading awareness and you might just be the catalyst for someone else to “come out” that is facing something very serious and actually get that help. By sharing what we categorize as “just anxiety” or “just stress” or “just fear” or you fill in the blank.
Awareness around removing the stigma that so many have around the words Mental Health. It’s about breaking what I call Breaking Omertà, or breaking the silence around this topic. It is time we stop covering up or ‘pretending’ that everything is perfect when no one lives a perfect life. We all share experiences with some form or another of Mental Health or Mindset challenges.
It’s about opening up and sharing. It is not about thinking “Well I’m not that bad off, I can handle it” and breaking free from that mode of thinking. It is time we talk about Mental Health, Mental Illness and all things Mindset without shrinking back from the conversation.
I started this share by asking a question Why do we dedicate an entire month around Mental Health Awareness. I think I answered this without actually answering it. If before you read this, you thought Mental Health Issues effected just a small group of individuals, you now see the enormous reach it actually has and how many different forms and labels it shows up with. Mental Health issues are so great that we set aside an entire month of the year to shed light on this most important topic.
Those of you who know me, know that I am not shy about sharing my challenges and battles with Mental Health Issues of all sorts. At one time or another in my life, I have lived through every single one of the above Mental Health challenges, labels and lived inside each and every one of those scenarios. Yes, including what I call my Girl Interrupted moment when I was admitted to a Mental asylum.
I have experienced what we label as “NORMAL” Incessant Mental Noise telling me I wasn’t good enough for one thing or another. The one that creates fear and points me to everything that could go wrong about any given topic. The one that reminds me of all the times I have failed right before I explore something new. The one that says, “Don’t take any chances, play it safe”. That voice that whispers to me not to go after my dreams and goals because I couldn’t possibly reach them. You know that voice, the “NORMAL” beat yourself up kind of voice that no one talks about.
I have also experienced times when those not so “NORMAL” voices in my head turned down right scary. Where fear, stress and anxiety turned to real panic, physical illness, pain in my body and scary voices telling me scary things. Also, not so many people want to discuss this. By keeping in the fear, stress and anxiety thinking actions and behaviors- something manageable turned into something not so manageable.
I was hearing voices on the radio talking to me and experienced intense panic, fear and irrational behavior. Like many diseases and illnesses, when you catch it early it may be more manageable and either way, it is not ever too late to address it, face it and work toward solutionizing the best course of action that works for you. Plot twist, not everyone needs medication to address fear, stress and anxiety. Many times in my experience, life changing mindsets, thoughts, behaviors and actions can happen in as little as ten to twelve weeks.
I created an entire company around letting all this stuff out and encouraging others to share. Together we are Breaking Omertà and letting out the stuff we have been holding in for far too long. All that stuff that has kept us stuck. The only way to fix something is to first face it. The only way to expose the darkness is to shine a light on it. The only way to transform is to make the commitment and do the work to make steps toward living your best life filled with faith, love, peace and ease. If you are experiencing any form of Mental Health or Mindset, Break your Omertà today and share. Speaking up is spreading awareness. If you are experiencing challenges, help is here. Schedule a discovery call with us. If you’re experiencing severe, suicidal thoughts, actions or behaviors call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255. The bottom line is to speak up, reach out and ask for help.