People are finally talking about mental health. Now what?

I’m a huge fan of all those who have been willing to talk about their challenges with their mental health. It’s wonderful to know that we are not alone. I love it when celebrities use their platforms for great causes.

But…we also have to start asking the question what’s next? It’s one thing to be aware of mental health and it’s another to face the harsh reality of waiting for two months before one can see a psychiatrist. Not to mention the enormous challenges for emergency rooms across the country who are often the first stop for those experiencing a mental health crisis.

I’m not worried about celebrities having access to care. They can afford to pay for private care if they have to. But I am concerned about the quality of care for everyone. The fact that medications don’t work immediately and the side effects can make the treatment impossible to stick with.

Talking about mental health is important. I do it often. But figuring out ways to help others get the care they need when they need it may just be the most important problem that needs solved in a generation.

Almost everyone is talking about mental health. Yay!!! Now let’s do something about the care people need.

Overcoming the pain from disappointment

Sometimes the worst part of mental illness are the dreams left behind. The shattered and tattered remnants of a life once filled with promise and opportunity. There is no greater healing than acknowledging the pain, feeling it and then moving forward with what can be.

Things can really be difficult. It’s hard to always stay positive and optimistic. It’s actually impossible too. It’s hard not to have moments of frustration and despair.

I’ve asked myself the question, why do things always have to be so hard?

And then I answer myself.

Because I’m striving to live my best life despite my challenges. Of course I haven’t completely forgotten about the pain. It keeps me humble and honest. It motivates me to help others. My pain is the fire that keeps me going.

Last week I had a chance to teach a group of kids about mental health. The younger group I read the old book, “The Little Engine that Could.” I was encouraging them to think positively and believe they could accomplish things.

As I sat there looking into those kids bright shiny eyes, I felt so touched. If I had stayed stuck on my past I would never had the chance to see all those kids eyes light up with joy because in that moment I brought my best self to share with them.

I’m still in the process of telling myself “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” But when my book ends I know I’m going to say ,

“I thought I could. I thought I could.”

Shifting to a positive attitude can be the difference between doing the near impossible and giving up without trying.

No matter what circumstance you may find yourself in…don’t give up. Things always get better and might just surpass the old dreams you once had.

Amy Gamble