When I started on this mental health advocacy journey I did not have any idea what to expect. Three years ago I began blogging anonymously just to be able to express some of my frustrations of living with a mental illness.
My anonymity lasted about six months and at that point I decided I would rather live authentically and maybe I could help a few other people by being honest about my struggles.
That one step of courage has led me down a path filled with blessings. I have met and intereacted with hundreds of people following my heart to raise awareness for mental illness. People from all over the country and in some cases all over the world. There are many kindred spirits who have picked up a banner to raise the flag for our cause–mental health advocacy!
Starting this new year I am already taken back by the invitations I have been receiving to speak about mental illness. I am overwhelmed by the interest and willingness for different professional groups to have the desire to learn more about the issues and challenges of living with a mental illness.
My inbox is pleasantly surprised to be invited to the parties. The places where people are gathering to shed light on mental illness and suicide. Advocacy is happening and our culture is beginning to shift in how we start having these dialogues.
For my small part in pushing the cause forward-I feel proud. Mostly because I was willing to be vulnerable to help make a difference. And it seems that honesty has some power to help fuel the movement even if in a small way.
No matter who you are or where you are fighting for your cause…keep up the work. Eventually people will hear you and change can happen. One day we will end the stigma once and for all.
Here’s to powerful social change in 2017! It is time stigma goes down in history.