I am so incredibly thankful for awareness days like today. They are an opportunity to change minds on what mental illness and mental health entail. It can erase stigma and prevent biases. People who are undiagnosed can recognize their symptoms and reach out for help. It is everyone around the world coming together for a cause that affects 1 in 4 people globally.
I have a ton I could say today, but I want to go with this: talking about my mental health has saved my life. Without therapy, psych meds, outpatient programming, partial hospitalization, inpatient, and residential treatment, I don’t think I would be alive right now. It took bravery to speak out and say that something was wrong. Even more strength was necessary to head into my first day of therapy. No matter how scary, treatment has been the best thing for me. The support I have received from family and friends is also invaluable.
If you are struggling, please reach out.
If your friend, family member, or loved one seems to be or is struggling, reach out.
Silence is not the answer.
No matter who you are, please take some time to learn more about mental health and mental illness. You DO know someone with a mental illness. Maybe that could be your significant other, classmate, child, sibling, coworker, relative, or friend. They need your support and they need you to be knowledgeable about what they’re going through. If you think that you don’t need any information on it, look at all the people you care for. Would you be willing to ignore them if they have a cry for help? Would you do the same if they had a physical diagnosis? Even for those without any mental illness, caring for our mental health is important. Everyone gets stressed, sad, angry, etc. Learning a few self-care techniques and coping skills can really go a long way.
Today may not mean a whole ton to you, but I promise it means the world to anyone who does struggle or will struggle with mental illness in their lifetime.
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4 thoughts on “World Mental Health Day 2017”
“Silence is not the answer.” Aptly put indeed. I’d add to that “silence kills.” It almost killed me many times but fortunately I did reach out and got help. Although it was advised to me I was never made to go into a program or into treatment. I had to, in fact, advocate for myself. It’s never been easy and it really should be something that is. I’ve been in treatment twice this year and the insurance company still hasn’t paid. So after doing the immensely difficult work in treatment then continuing the hard work of recovery, we (because this applies to many) have to enter in to a long term financial fight.
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It absolutely does kill. I could write a book on how much I hate insurance and how it treats mental health. I’ve had pretty good luck for the most part, but I’m dealing with them not covering IOP and dietary. Imagine how many more people could get what help they need if insurance was forced to prude the same coverage as physical ailments. Also, that’s good that the VA recognized them now!
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That’s interesting because my iOP is covered. I’m on disability so it’s actually covered by Medicare. However Medicare doesn’t cover treatment programs. I looked at the billing and it’s listed as a 3 hour appointment with the overseeing doctor for 3 hours, 3 times a week. Try to figure that out! Who cares though, sheesh. However, it’s a two hour drive away so I’m putting out about 4000 miles ($225-250 for gas) a month and $150 in tolls so it’s not altogether paid. And yeah, it’s the closest one but it’s saving my life so worth it. My nutritionist is there and is, in fact, the director. He’s also covered. My last nutritionist cost $110/session cash and I went once a week. Ouch. My therapist doesn’t take insurance.
I never would have thought I’d say this but the huge debt over incurred hasn’t bothered me as much since I’ve never felt as well as I do now. I’d prefer not to be in debt but if that’s what it takes, it is what it is.
On a positive side… the VA (veterans administration) is finally acknowledging eating disorders.