Mental Health Check
Call your congressman, Nancy Grace, Sheila Smoot. Why? To advocate for paid mental health days. Yes, mental health days, just like, but in addition too, sick leave and vacation pay. I suggest starting with at least three days a year.
Who needs mental health days? We all do. Let's start a Kickstarter campaign, gofundme account or MoveOn petition!
Seriously, a mental health day isn't an excuse to skip work because your manager pissed you off. Mental conditions can cause severe problems functioning and focusing at work. Work stress can harm a person dealing with an episode of depression, mania, anxiety, etc. causing even more damage. Ever heard of the term, "going postal?"
Confession: I used to think that black people couldn't be depressed. I thought all we needed was Jesus and our pastor-until I experienced depression for myself. I wasn't just sad or having a bad day, a bad week, a bad year. I had it bad.
When I sought help with talk therapy and then medication, I realized that I wasn't crazy. Its a true illness. When I started sharing my story and struggle, others started to open up about their personal experiences or experiences with family members and other loved ones. It's nothing to be ashamed of, it's not your fault, you aren't a bad person. It can be fixed and maintained.
I've recently learned about Project Semicolon, a concept spearheaded by Amy Bleuel. She explains that a semicolon is a pause; not a stop. It signifies that our stories don't have to end in tragedy because of mental illness, it's just a pause in our story. And how fitting the symbol is for a writer.