Mental Health Awareness Month: An Overview
I am equally both excited that May is here and scared to death for the posts that are going to be going up this month for Mental Health Awareness Month.
Starting in 1949,
by Mental Health America, the US has observed Mental Heath Month each May. It is a month to help those with disorders to find resources for help, provide information for others that know someone that is struggling, as well as to help break the stigmas behind mental health.
My last mental health series, I focused on myself. I took self portraits and chronicled my journey of going from pre-diagnosis to treatment. I received so much feedback from the series I was shocked. I hadn't been aware it would have made that much of an impact on my community. I reconnected with a lot of old friends and realized that since we had aged, the things that kept us from connecting were now gone.
I am so grateful for those "new" old connections.
After learning about Mental Health Month, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try a project similar to mine, but with others. I wanted to share more stories. Whether they were stories of triumphs, failures or just merely existing, these stories need to be told.
They deserve the justification that someone is listening, that someone hears them and that someone can relate.
My goal of this project is to educate anyone that will listen, about living day to day with various struggles and help break up the stigmas that we so often come across. I want to help anyone that can relate to these stories by letting them have an uncensored look into our heads and see that they do not have to struggle in silence.
I was able to have 5 volunteers (plus myself) that filled out a questionnaire, helped me design a shoot, and allowed me to write their story. My volunteers ranged from well managed disorders to those still struggling. People that chose medication and those able to function medication-free.
Here is to a wonderful, emotional, authentic month ahead.
The stories you will read are going to be real, raw and often painful. I want to bring some light to the dark nature of these disorders.
You can't eliminate darkness with more darkness- to lock it up and forget it, is to allow it to grow stronger. We need to shine a light on it to study it, to learn it, and to love it, in order to break free of its hold over us.