It is Mental Health Week in Canada! For 60 years, a week has been designated for this.
In my blog at PM27's Blog, I urged people to celebrate Mental Health Week by checking out the facts at the Canadian Mental Health Association site plus writing a few words related to the topic.
Over the years, I have found writing and journaling to be a way to process and cope with some issues of mental health--loss, grief, depression.
In this group of Writers in Canada, I wonder how many of us use words as a vehicle to maintain or improve mental health.
I have already received blog responses to that effect.
If anyone else wants to add to this discussion, it would be great to hear from you!
I'm only just seeing this post now (I've been pretty lax in the online community lately, due to too many deadlines), but it's a topic I'm very interested in. I'm a firm believer that writing can help battle the mental demons - I've been journaling since I was a child and there have been many times that putting words to paper have helped calmed me down or helped me put a problem into perspective.
As a side note, my educational background is in psychology, so I'm interested in not only writing to cope with mental health, but writing about mental health...
I just saw this post now too.....a lot of pots on the boil these days! June....yikes.....kids are winding down from school, weather change so more outside chores, and my youngest is about to start walking anyday..yippeee here I go after her!
I'm very interested in this topic and have written about it in the past. Funny how I just came from making a comment on another blog post on She Writes and referred to the same story I'm about to refer to now...spooky. My story "Grief Written Down" was published in Island Parent Magazine in the August '09 issue. It was the first in a series Island Parent put together entitled Motherhood, Writing and Healing. You can check the entire four part series out at www.islandparentmagazine.ca if you're curious. I received a LOT of feedback on that story, via e-mail, at a local public playgroup, and on www.themomoirproject.com where it is posted as well and where I am a student.
Mental health is rarely referred to in terms of 'health' and that is tragic for those suffering with any type of mood or mental health issue especially when they are searching for support and education. There ARE books out there on mental health, a few good memoirs from those who have been there done that and survived to tell the tale ('Shoot the Damn Dog" by Sally Brampton is one I would recommend for those with Depression) but for the most part I don't see a lot of day-to-day stuff.
Those living with mental health issues, whether it's happening to themselves or those closest to them, know how something as simple as going to the grocery store can turn into an emotional gong-show. People in trouble need coping skills and support. I bet if you could compare some journal entries of people suffering with some type of mental health issue a common thread would surface throughout. A feeling of helplessness and sorrow and the certainty that what is happening to them is suffered alone and in shame. Shame is a killer and it's link to a healthy mental state is worth exploring I think.
I think that many suffer in silence....I know I did for many years.....but I think that suffering could be eased a little with some true and everyday words on the subject. "The deepest part of you is usually the deepest part of everyone else" is what I was taught years ago in a creative writing class and it's stuck with me because it is true.
I am definitely interested in writing about mental health.
Hello, Tammy and Sue,
So glad you responded to my earlier post!
Mental Health is a concern for everyone and I do think that writing about it helps.
Great to hear from both of you!
Hello Ladies , I am an epileptic, have been so since I was 6 and now forty odd years later I feel that I am qualified to talk about my side of mental illness. Many of the great names in our history books were also challenged mentally. It seems that mental illness is something that has plagued mankind for centuries, in some cases totally regardless of race or social hierarchy.
Yes my friends the chances are that mental illness will effect you or some one you care for at some point in your life are probable rather than possible. When we are in that position, knowledge and understanding are our best weapons.
Yes, it is a proven fact that and type of learning can help decrease the onset and severity of a mental illness, but it takes guts and determination and a great positive outlook to meet this particular challenge.
So all you wonderful people out there that are in some way living with a mental illness, let's show the world what we are made of!
Dianne, so glad to read your comment here. What a positive tone!
This week, I focused on this theme once again in my blog: WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2012 ; but this year I also gave a link to a new collection of transformative poetry. Check out the link if you wish.