I’ve talked on here before about my struggles with depression and anxiety. I’ve dealt with these diseases most of my adult life. I nearly had to drop out of college because of them. Luckily, I was able to find help for my condition and begin treatment. So far, especially recently, it’s been incredibly effective. I’m more positive than I have been for years. I’m able to deal with my anxieties in a more effective manner. I’m even able to work through my frustrations more. But I’m privileged in this regard. not everyone has access to the kind of help that I have been able to get. So today, instead of doing a story or a poem, I want to share a few things you can do to fight the stigma against mental illnesses and help out those who suffer from them.
The first thing you can do, if you have the money, is donate to a charity or organization that helps people with mental illnesses find treatment and support. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is one such organization. They provide help and support to many people throughout the United States. If you are a gamer, a good organization to donate to is Take This, which works to fight the stigma in the gaming community and provide resources to help people with mental illnesses at gaming conventions.
The second thing you can do is listen and be there for people in your life who have mental illnesses. If you know someone who suffers from a mental illness, try and be there for them to talk to. Listen to their experiences and try not to judge them for what they’ve been through. Let them know that you are there for them and that you want to understand and help however you can.
The most important thing you can do, if you yourself suffer from a mental illness or think you might have one, is to take care of yourself. If you think you might have an illness talk to someone. If you are scared of talking to a professional, talk to a friend or family member. If you need time by yourself, take it. If you have a creative pursuit, work on it a bit. Do whatever you can do to try and keep yourself going, because you are valued and wonderful just for being alive.
I hope this post helps people to understand how they can do something productive to help a person with a mental illness. I’ll post something more creative soon. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and each other.