May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

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We break a bone, we go to the doctors. Why is it SO DIFFERENT when we have a broken heart or an ailing mind?

May is Mental Health Awareness month. I’m reminded of the quote “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” My website and Instagram account may be mostly smiles/travel/food but the truth is that my life has been dramatically impacted by mental illness.

I want you to know that pursuing mental health is one of the best things you can do- not just for yourself, but for our world. Our world is troubled by violence, anxiety, and fear - and it needs mental health. What is the use of a healthy body when your head and your heart aren’t well? Being mentally healthy is as foundational to overall health as visiting your doctor’s office. It’s my hope that in the not too distant future, therapist visits are seen as a part of a regular health routine just like doctors visits.

In 2009 my younger brother ended his own life at the age of 25. It was the most difficult, shocking, and painful experience of my life. I was a recent psychology doctoral grad and had no idea how much depression was impacting someone so close to me.

He never got to fulfill his dreams of writing a book, and I never got the chance to say goodbye. After he passed, I decided that I was going to chase after every dream I had and do the most I could with my life to positively impact others. Since then, it’s been my personal mission to help people delight in this gift of life that we are all given. I believe that every human life matters and that this world is never the same once we leave it.

I’m grateful to the public champions for mental health awareness such as Prince Harry, Kristen Bell, Kerry Washington, Demi Lovato, and others who have used their platform to promote the importance of mental health in addition to physical health. Recently Mariah Carey was incredibly vulnerable in sharing about her own struggle with Bipolar Disorder. These individuals are living proof that mental illness doesn’t discriminate - it impacts every human being from every walk of life. Their courage in sharing their own struggles has helped break down the stigma that has been associated with mental illness.

If you have ever struggled or currently struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, or even attempts, I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that you are NOT alone, and that your life matters immensely, even if you don’t think it’s true. If you were waiting for a sign, here is your sign. If you feel worthless, or hear a voice saying “no one cares” or “my life doesn’t matter” it is 100% a lie and you don’t have to give those voices power. Right now there is someone in the world whose life could be better because of you. If you’re struggling, please seek professional care and/or call a family member, friend, or the suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Please note that this account is for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional healthcare or crisis support. If you are in an emergency please call 911.

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Brian Thiebaud