Monday, May 19, 2014

May is Mental Health Month...Why didn't I know this?!

We're more than halfway through the month, and I just found out today that May is Mental Health Month. I've also learned that May is "fill in the blank month" for several other topics. Initially I felt like I had messed up by not making mental health a more dominant conversation here on The Ro Fo Sho. Then, I realized that with all of the other subjects of the month out there, that it's actually a good example of how this topic seems to get lost in the mix! I remember reading a single column segment in a magazine once about celebrities talking more publicly about their personal struggles with mental illness, and I can't think of another time the matter was addressed again!

On The View today, Chicago Bears Wide Receiver, Brandon Marshall, shared his battle with mental illness. Brandon Marshall discusses the Brandon Marshall Foundation, and his mission to end the stigma attached to mental illness. This is the synopsis you can read on The View's website. What stories could other celebrities and athletes have to share?

On the 12 o'clock news today, I learned that yesterday there was a run on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for depression and suicide awareness! I had no idea this was going on!!! Will there be other events to drive awareness?

I now know that there is so much more I need to do to be an effective part of the discussion on mental illness. I'm not a celebrity, an athlete, or someone prominent in the public eye. I'm just an every day woman with clinical depression. I want to also be a part of Brandon's mission "to end the stigma attached to mental illness." I've tried to encourage my readers to talk about their struggles and to not feel like they can't share their illnesses for fear of judgement or becoming an outcast. Now I need to do more research on foundations, resources, events to drive awareness, and places to find support.

This is my last week at work before we move to Florida and I find a new job. I've already shared my plans for The Ro Fo Sho, but I'd also like to say that I will be working on this blog and the topic of mental illness, specifically depression, to provide more information for you, my dear readers. Whenever I read an article or watch a news blip on this subject, I feel like I don't read or hear about it again until an individual has reached the brink. Bullying, cancer, the dangers of smoking, and so many other issues are prominently addressed in the media everywhere we look. I believe that the subject of mental health concerns should be just as prominent and not just when something negative brings attention to it.

Any ideas or contributions y'all would like to make would be greatly appreciated!

The metaphor about the caterpillar becoming the butterfly is definitely well known...and probably used way too often! I for one appreciate the caterpillar. She's sturdy. She's lovely without being fragile. She hasn't yet become what she's destined to be, but she's not just lounging around waiting. She's moving and eating and traveling...she's checking out nature and feeling the warmth of the sun and resting in the coolness of the shade. She's living.

I hope that makes sense to y'all! If not, thanks for putting up with me anyway! Haha! Hugs and love my lovelies!


p.s. I don't know if this little cutie becomes a butterfly lol...sorry I'm no expert here! I don't even know if all caterpillars become butterflies or not! If they do, well that's awesome! If not, well, like I said...I love caterpillars!

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