Intellectually I understand the need to have awareness months. I like to see that having these months helps bring awareness to the general population. But then that voice inside that snickers sarcastically at the need for an awareness month on mental health.
Why do we need an awareness month for an issue that is an every person issue? If you have a brain, you require mental health.
Then, after taking a few moments, I am reminded how many people don’t want to think, talk, or deal with mental health, especially when someone has a “serious” mental health issue. Whatever “serious mental health issue” means. Every mental health issue is serious. We need to start realizing that.
I am not the best example of what talking and dealing with it looks like either. Now, I am trying to be better, but I spent years ignoring my mental health before. Then, I was scared, which drove me to push my mental health away. I was afraid I would realize how broken (and therefore unfixable) I was.
I understand now I am not broken. My brain is wired differently because of abuse. And I am not unfixable. I don’t need to be “fixed.” I need to learn and understand how my brain is wired the way it is so that I can develop skills to be the best me.
One of the ways I learn is to talk about how I am feeling with my therapist, my hubs, and pretty much anyone willing to speak with me. I am at times surprised that there are people who don’t want to talk about anything to do with my mental health, which makes me want to talk about it more. Like all of the time.
No, I am kidding, not all the time. That is exhausting. We at least need to keep increasing awareness, furthering our knowledge of ourselves, and how best to be there for those who need us. And not just in May either. This awareness needs to be a continuous process toward open discussions of our overall mental health.
What Can We Do?
What can we do to continue developing awareness of mental health?
Luckily I have some suggestions.
The most important piece of awareness is keeping an open mind and being willing to engage in conversation. But unfortunately, mental health has gotten a bad reputation, which needs to change. Because without a healthy mind, we will soon be incapable of being functioning human beings.