The Spark Newsletter: Keep Mental Health Afloat

The Spark Newsletter: Keep Mental Health Afloat

Keep Mental Health Afloat

The stigma around mental illness has historically created a divide between those who are "ill" and those who are "not ill" as though there are some people who live their lives free from any mental health problems. However, we are lying to ourselves when we pretend not to have experienced grief, trauma, anxiety, adjustment stress, loss, heartache, or hopelessness, which are all aspects of the mental health spectrum. 


We all experience mental illness from time-to-time. The longer we stuff our emotions and don't acknowledge that we need help, the more likely mental illness can burrow inside of us requiring more focused and intensive interventions. We are all capable of staying afloat during a mental health crisis and increasing our resiliency or ability to come out stronger from adversity and stress. First, we must admit that we all need to prioritize our mental health needs and to also support others who are tending to their mental health. 


May is Mental Health Awareness month. The key point is "awareness" of how our mental health affects us and when to recognize the need for help. The other key point is to focus on prevention. When we focus too much on stigmas and labels then we forget that we are all the same, trying to cope with our lives on this Earth to the best of our abilities while weathering day-to-day stress and hardships. 


Be Aware of How Labels Define You

Diagnoses, whether mental health or physical health, serve a purpose because they help people create a map or plan for healing. However, diagnoses are also another label that defines you. When we accept labels, we often close our minds to other possibilities for healing and recovery. We also succumb to the sometimes bleak prognoses associated with the label. Instead of letting a label of 'depressed' or 'anxious' get the best of you, take back your life by realizing you are so much more than any label. You can be empowered over any illness or challenge when you pave the way for new perspectives and focus on how to best meet your unique needs and circumstances.

If I had accepted my diagnostic labels and all the negative messages around the words 'Crohn's Disease' and 'Anxious,' I would not be where I am today. I would probably be curled up in bed or living in the hospital. Instead I used these labels to focus and refine my treatment, and then I opened my mind to the many ways I could overcome my challenges and build a better quality life for myself. I am still 'Casey' with a whole lot of strengths regardless of the labels. 

Be Aware of How to Get Help

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers many resources to individuals, family members, and friends suffering from mental illness or who want to help someone they know. Remember, mental illness doesn't mean you are defective or broken. Instead, mental illness is a messenger that something in your life or environment are out of balance and you need some help to find harmony and peace again. You are not alone and it is time to ask for help.

Be Aware of How You Treat Others

This is an inspirational story about Thomas Edison, famous inventor. Take the time to watch this clip, which shows the power of kind words and how they unlock the true potential inside of every human being. Every kind word, positive affirmation, or simple "thank you" can change a person's life forever. Simple gestures go a long ways. Never underestimate this power. 

Thank you for subscribing to The Spark.


My name is Casey Hersch. I am a licensed clinical social worker and founder of LightYourSparkle.Life.  When I created the Light Your Sparkle community, the connections between childhood trauma and autoimmune disease inspired me. Several years later, my mission to bring awareness to these connections remains even as I expand this community to include anyone who seeks hope, perspective, companionship, and empowerment. 


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