Mental Health is Wealth
In January 2014, I surrendered my life to Christ “for real for real,” and, I tell you, my life has never been the same. Giving my life to Christ has helped me to better cope with the bondages of depression, loneliness, and low self-esteem. I am no longer fighting my battles silently.
Though I know I have my faith I am aware that; sometimes prayer is simply not enough.”
That is why, I’ve decided to create a little place on the blog for my followers and me to explore and understand the importance of our mental health.
This corner of the blog was one that I’ve been scared to create. For a long time, I felt like the only one talking about past experiences of suicidal thoughts and seasons of depression, but since creating this platform, I realized that there are many other people who share similar feelings.
Nurturing and caring for our minds is so important and is key to one’s overall health. I aspire to break down stigma and barriers through teaching others about self-love, wellness, and creative pursuits. I have discovered that the key to understanding mental health disparities include empathy, community, and hope.
What is Mental Health?
The World Health Organization (2014) defines Mental Health as “A state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, and African Americans are no exception.
In fact, according to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (2017), African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. This is an issue that must be communicated. With those statistics, we must recognize that our community needs us.
I’ve decided to no longer shy away from the topic, but to embrace it and, in doing so, embrace my journey. And, I thought how powerful it would be to have other people share their personal journey and understanding of what mental health is and how they protect that.
I am a true believer that “our stories are the key to unlocking someone else’s prison.”- (author unknown)
The more we speak of our own stories and experiences, the easier it is to break down the chains and barriers that surround the topic. We not only help ourselves but help our peers and those younger and older than us to understand and not feel ashamed or lost when it comes to their mental well-being.
The more conversations we have around the topic the more we can escape the fears of being judged and of being vulnerable, recognizing that sharing and vulnerability are not weaknesses but, rather, true signs of strength.
The Goal: to create safe spaces for people of all backgrounds and ages, especially young people of color, to explore, examine, and relate; a safe-haven to explore and exercise individual faith, explore educational materials, including interviews and other literature, that can help to debunk the stigma that surrounds mental health and wellness.
While I continue my mental wellness journey, I recognize the value of mental wealth, acknowledging, celebrating and thankful to God that I am not where I used to be.
A few things I've learned along my Mental Health Journey:
- Mental health is wealth.
- Recharging is so essential.
- It’s about the journey not a destination.
- Life has its highs and lows.
- You don’t have to have all of the answers –it’s okay to ask for help.
- Your experience is valid.
- God will fight your battles.