From Mental Illness, to Mental Wellness...
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults living in the U.S experiences mental illness each year. Discussion on mental health awareness and education often focus on what it means to be ill. This is an integral part of creating awareness, so that people can be mindful about the experiences they have, and hopefully make this part of their health a priority. Part of my goal in starting this blog, is to shift the discussion just a bit to wellness. YES, we need communities to be educated about mental health and the multitude of disorders that afflict people of all ages, and from all walks of life. YES, you will certainly see posts on this blog with a psychoeducational (there's a fancy psych word for you) intention; and YES, we must understand illness in order to explore treatment options. However, without understanding what it means to be well and inspiring people that there is hope, we hit a road block.
HOPE is the message. Focusing on wellness is the key to hope. So, what makes you feel well? When we are physically ill, we know all too well what will make us feel well. This winter, I fell sick with the flu and an ear infection simultaneously. The first thing I craved was grandmas chicken soup. Much to my dismay, I needed to take several days off of work. I isolated myself to my bed, drank more water than I ever would, and ate exorbitant amounts of grandmas chicken soup. Stop for a moment, and consider what contributes to your mental wellness. What "fills your cup?" I encourage you to think about this. Speak to people you love about what makes them well.
I hope you found some positivity in this post. Stay tuned for some more food for thought!