Mental Health Monday – Understanding Mental Illness – An Interview with Stranger Thing’s David Harbour

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One Look at Understanding Mental Illness.

I think it’s important to hear from people we like and respect and hear their stories. David Harbour says a lot of things in this short interview that I’ve heard before and that I try to promote in my own life. He is known recently from his role in Netflix’s Stranger Things and is starring in the upcoming Hellboy 2.

 A few takeaways:

1. Stop the stigma.

2. Mental illness is not the completely negative thing it implies to many people. We can live with various forms of mental illness, or rather we all have mental health issues that we contend with and need to adapt to, regardless of level.

3. Medication is not a bad word. It is also not an end-all solution. It is so very helpful when used in conjunction with other therapies.

4. You are not stronger if you avoid taking medication for your mental illness/continued mental health.

5. If you and I both have depression, we may  understand and empathize, but no one’s situation is exactly alike. Despite that, we can help each other and share ideas that work for us.

Mental Health Monday is Coming

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Tomorrow begins a new, not so new series on mental health. It will include links, resources, my own reflections, and other relevant items. It won’t necessarily be every week, but I do have four in a row planned out for January. 

I personally find January and February to be difficult for many people, what with the come down from the busyness of the holidays, the winter months that keep us more isolated, and the lack of holiday time or days off from work and school. Sometimes, it’s good just to sit back, take a look at what we did for those busy days, look at the photos, re-read the Christmas cards, and enjoy our new found time. That doesn’t work for everyone, but hopefully, everyone will find something for them on these Mondays.

Mental Health Monday – What’s in My (Coping) Tool Kit?

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I’ve posted about this subject before – twice that I could find links to, so in additon to those links below, I will also add a few things that popped into my mind (and my purse) as of this writing.

On Saturday, I reposted the making your own tool kit resource. Many of the suggestions are valid, but of course, one size does not fit all. That’s why I’ve written about and kept my own tool kits; to demonstrate what works for me in real time.

What works for you? Share it below. It might work for others. Working together and sharing resources and tools are what keeps us all moving forward.

What’s in My Personal Coping Tool Box (at the moment)?

Worry stone

Supernatural reruns on Netflix or TNT (the apps are on both my kndle and my smartphone.)

Small notebook for listmaking

A little bit of money – about $20 or a dedicated gift card

Granola bar for a burst of evergy. Avoid sugar, like candy bars or chocolate. If you avoid the sugar high, you’ll avoid the sugar crash.

Journal/Sketchbook with pen/pencil for scribbles and doodles.

Water bottle

Fold up soccer chair (in the car) so I always have a place to sit.

My Coping Tools

My Tool Kit/Grab Bag for Coping

Mental Health ¬†Monday – Resources

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In the last of my mental health series (for now), I am sharing with you resources that have been recommended to me. If you have others to share, please do so in the comments and I can add them to my crisis intervention page as well as including them in furture resource posts.

Suicide Prevention HelpLine: 1-800-273-8255

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

IMAlive (an online crisis network)
The Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

TWLOHA: To Write Love on Her Arms

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1. Text to 838255. There is also a confidential chat line on the website.

March for Our Lives


Carrie Fisher was a champion for ending mental health stigma, and did so by talking about it. This article is a good reminder of that part of her legacy.

Wil Wheaton is also a strong advocate of getting help and talking about it. His openness helped me in mine.

Mental Health Monday on Tuesday – Coloring Books

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Sometimes you just need a mindless break in order to become mindful. Or just to take a breather. I began to color during an art-slash-spiritual retreat, and sitting with a group of people listening to music, lights dimmed, but enough to see the papers and the colors of the pencils was transcendental. It was soothing and calming, and there is no such thing as a mistake on a coloring sheet. You can find a variety in the dollar section at Target or the Dollar store. My most recent acquisition – the Celtic coloring book – was from a bargain store for $1.99. Well worth it.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you. Please add any other suggestions in the comments below.