We all have bodies. We all have brains. It’s fairly easy to talk about when things aren’t going well physically (ex. “My back hurts”, “My migraines are kicking up”, “I’ve got to manage my sugar levels”) and fairly difficult to talk about when things aren’t going well emotionally (“I’m feeling more sad than I’ve ever felt”, “I’m having nightmares ever since I had this traumatic experience last year”, “I just spent the afternoon in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack and just learned it was really a panic attack”).
We all have mental health. Sometimes we have seasons where our mental health needs a tune up and could benefit from talking to a therapist or confiding in a peer who might have had a similar experience. But emotional wellness / mental health is difficult to talk about. It’s a misunderstood topic and is laden with shame.
My dream is for mental health to be talked about more openly so that people in pain won’t feel like they have to walk through it alone. Statistically one in five people experience mental health issues. In a town this size, that’s a fair number. Since I’ve lived here, there have been several suicides. It’s not public knowledge because it’s so deeply painful and personal. Ten years ago, my husband had a complete breakdown, was hospitalized several times and was suicidal for years before he got well. Prior to this time, he had no history of mental health issues. It was an incredibly difficult and lonely experience for us both
I didn’t know anything about mental health issues before that time. No one in my circle of friends or family had ever talked about mental health. I want to change that for people by creating simple info kits that will do two things:
1 – Describe in simple terms what anxiety, depression, PTSD, Psychosis might
feel like to a person going through them so that readers might recognize symptoms in themselves.
2 – Offer initial resources for getting help so that reader will know how to get help.
Funded by Georgetown, MA (September 2021)