May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
Awareness... Miriam Webster says this means to have concern and well-informed knowledge of a situation or topic. When it comes to mental health, true awareness is a challenge. This well-informed part is lacking. And how could we be well informed when much of our culture's exposure to mental health care and topics relies on what we see in movies? (Spoiler alert: movies are not real life!) I don't know about you, but I have never met anyone who took an Emotional Health class in high school.
Even though we have made some impressive progress, years of stigma have left behind a murky wake of shame and confusion. Cultural norms now are starting to tell us it's ok, even good and normal, to have conversations about about mental health. Trouble is, most of us haven't had a chance to learn the language.
My friends and neighbors say they know that it's important to take care of their mental health but that doing so feels like a maze. They say it seems overwhelming and a little weird. They aren't sure if their problems are serious enough or the right kind for professional help. They wonder what a session will actually be like and if all the confusion is even worth it. And most importantly: WILL THERE BE A COUCH???? After all, we've really only seen it in the movies.
There's some decoding and demystifying that needs to be done. We need a guide.
This month I'm excited to launch Illuminate where you'll find posts highlighting mental health topics in an approachable way. No code or mysterious psychobabble here. I'll offer an insider's perspective on mental health care, answer questions you were afraid to ask, and provide a guide toward that true, well informed kind of awareness. An awareness that moves beyond a vague idea and finds a relevant place in your own life. You'll learn about psychology, which is really all about the things that make us deeply human. You don't have to be in the dark about these things. We were never meant to be.
The lights are about to be thrown on to make the path to living well a little clearer. I'd love for you to come along.
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