Mental Illness Awareness

Imagine walking around with a dark cloud over you. A gloomy pocket of air that follows you everywhere. 

It follows you when you wake, when you work when you talk, when you eat, when you sleep, and when you breathe. Imagine it being with you for more than two weeks. 

That’s what depression can be like and has been described as; many others have different descriptions of what depression can feel like. 

Much conversation has occurred from Kid Cudi's decision to enter rehab for depression and suicidal urges. On Twitter, celebrities, personalities, bloggers, newscasters, and much more are speaking out in support of the rapper and wishing him well.

Hashtags such as #YouGoodMan are arising that truly shed light on how prevalent mental health issues are. One of the most touching is the response from black men as a collective sharing that they also struggle with depression. Check out Mother Jones's blog to see responses. 

Why am I bringing this up? The first week of October is Mental Illness Awareness week. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, began this as a way to raise awareness. 

This directly relates to who I am and why I am passionate about social work and mental health. When I left college, I was lost and tried so many different careers ad avenues. Depression was a struggle I faced and overcame. 

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I first started with poetry, then I began to take off with fitness like never before. Now, I created this website in hopes of encouraging and uplifting others to own, love, and embrace who they are, even the flaws and illnesses. 

The reality is that there are many people who are facing mental health issues, including depression, who will not speak out. But we must. We must because people must know that they are not alone. 

We all are on this online community. We all have a platform literally at our fingertips to create a change in many areas, including the stigma surrounding mental health. 

As a social work student, a blogger, and as an overcomer, I support heightened awareness of mental health issues.

Below are numbers provided from NAMI that demonstrate the prevalence of mental health issues in our country. If you are interested in reading more, see more here on NAMI's site.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. 
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13-18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-24.22. 

Also, if you know anyone who is suffering with a mental illness, check out this website MentalHealth.gov for more information on definitions and ways to help. 

Taking care of our minds is just as important as taking care of our physical bodies. If you have any thoughts or concerns, please comment below or feel free to email me at shanna@shannatyler.com. 

Thank you and have a great week ahead. Let's continue to be more aware of mental health in this country and love on everyone!