I asked an open-ended and general question, “What does mental health mean to you?”
Answers came back as depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. It seems that people assumed I was asking about mental ILLNESS, not mental HEALTH. Or is that where the misconception lies? And what can we learn from this?
Mental health is in fact a topic for EVERYONE. For all people on the spectrum, from severely mentally ill to highly functioning people in society. We all require mental health check ins, just like we all require physical health check ins—or should.
So why is it that when the subject of mental health is mentioned, we still have a stigma about it? Emotions are normal, it is part of our construct as human beings. We are not machines made of metal. If we all agree that emotions are natural and a part of life, we should be acting on that notion. So how do we do this?
By talking more about it, incorporating it into our everyday lives and conversation between one another. Let’s open the topic up for discussion and prioritize it. If we want to make positive strides to improve our community and move forward, this is one step we can make.
Being conscious of these details, we can improve our social skills, ourselves, and encourage it in others. Perhaps the subject of mental health will not be such a stigma any longer.
Perhaps this blog makes no points at all, certainly not original ones. But is meant to simply encourage mindfulness and discussion about mental health in our community ;)
Communication is imperative for us to be able to work together and move forward as a functioning society. Let’s bring human emotion back into our conversations, because if we want to make progress, we cannot choose to neglect our emotions and mental health.
Contributing Writers Rich Smith, Maggie Kates
SWIFT RIDE is a 4,000+ mile bicycle ride across the USA to raise funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. May 2019.