They are only available for one more week! Click the photo or here to et yours!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Confidential crisis hotline available 24/7
IMAlive An online crisis network with trained volunteers available to chat 24/7.
My crisis intervention page will be updated on Saturday.
Mental Health Monday begins for the rest of the month on Monday, September 16th.
Please share your own resources in the comments and offer feedback on any of the above that you have familiarity with.
Today is the day on the calendar that we focus on bringing awareness to suicide prevention, but for those of us who are stuck in suicidal thoughts, suicide prevention is every day.
Throughout the month, I will be sharing links and resources for suicide prevention. Check on your friends. Add the Suicide Prevention Hotline to your phone (1-800-273-8255). Share it on your social media. Sometimes all someone needs is that one message that reminds them that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation.
I had originally wanted to write and post this today in the morning, but when I got out what I thought I wanted to reflect on, it didn’t feel right. It said all the right words, but the tone was off, and the objective was off from what I intended in the thought process. As it turned out, I had the opportunity this morning to attend my parish’s semi-annual Anointing Mass, which administers the sacrament of the sick, and for healing. It’s a really wonderful experience. It’s similar to a regular mass with the inclusion of the anointing with oil. The readings are related to sickness and health, and the homily is always inspirational. The range of people attending is literally the range of people who attend the church. Residents of nursing homes come by bus. Some people are in wheelchairs, some use walkers, some have heart conditions, joint problems, MS, migraines, all sorts of ailments including mental illnesses and health issues.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I learned that last year at my Diocese’s annual Spring Enrichment program. One of the attending vendors was the Diocese’s Consultation Center. They gave me this bracelet,
and provided resources. Obviously anything with the Diocese will fall under Catholic doctrine, but the idea that the official church is to welcome and help those of their people struggling with these issues is a big step in the right direction.
During my own parish’s Prayer of the Faithful, they have included mental health ailments along with the other sick mentioned for as long as I’ve personally been attending masses with my priest.
Last week my Diocese held the Spring Enrichment. It was a much smaller event than in previous years, so I was surprised to see several vendor tables. They are mostly publishers related to Catholic School education, books written by the keynote speaker, pastoral care and other educational opportunities, and this year, it was very unexpected to see a table manned by the NYS group of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They had pamphlets and resources for self-hairm and suicide prevention and many of the things their organization covers. The significance of having them there, in their own right, promoting their organization, appearing to me without any restrictions as far as Catholic doctrine; no limitations on what they were offering.
I was very happy to see this as historically many religious groups have upheld a stigma against mental illness and the taking of medication to help those illnesses and issues. I am so glad to see more open acceptance of mental health as a medical issue, which it’s always been despite being hidden for so long. It’s so important that we normalize and eliminate the stigma of mental illness and it is long past time.
It was like a light being turned on in the dark.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we’re kicking off Mental Health Monday with a few reminders and links:
Mental health affects EVERYONE. Mental Health is often confused with Mental Illness, and both are afflicted with social stigmas where we don’t acknowledge our issues, we don’t speak about them, and we ignore our friends and family who have them, regardless of the degree.
As a whole, we need to be more open and in that way, we encourage others around us that they can come to us, and they will receive support.
To start out this awareness month, check out my Mental Health Monday tag, an ongoing series of mental health stories and resources. I also have a Crisis Intervention Resource page that offers hotlines and some websites. I have already added the new Trans LifeLine to it.
Other resources to check out include:
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
BetteruBetterUs on Instagram (helping people of color connect with therapists)
Project Ur Ok, on Instagram
The Carter Center: Mental Health
The Trevor Project
School of Awake (for young girls)
Five of My Personal Self-Care Practices
1. Take a Mental Health Day. This is especially helpful when you work full-time. Sometimes with all of the obligations and expectations, a day off is needed. I also allow my kids to do this if needed.
2. Tea. It is no lie that tea cures everything. And if it doesn’t cure it, it certainly helps put things in perspective. The time it takes to brew a cup of tea and drink it is often enough time to allow yourself to take a breathe, and it can be done anywhere – home, work, coffee shop on the corner.
3. Do something mundane. There are times when I get low and can’t focus even on relaxing, so I will put on a rerun of Supernatural and let that be my white noise. I’ve seen all of the episodes so I don’t need to pay strict attention to the plot, and I find comfort in the familiar voices.
4. Music. My go-to’s are the Hamilton soundtrack, Sign No More from Mumford & Sons, England Take My Bones from Frank Turner, and Adele plus the Supernatural soundtrack that I’ve put together.
5. Prayer. I know this isn’t for everyone, but if I can sit down and pray or read a spiritual book it does tend to re-center me so I can continue with my day.
Share 1 or 2 of yours in the comments!
Suicide Prevention HelpLine: 1-800-273-8255
Wil Wheaton is an actor, best known for his roles in Stand by Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation. His motto is: Don’t be a dick, and he tries to live his life with that philosophy at the forefront. It is a simple philosophy; one I equate to the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
He and his wife live in California with their two dogs, Marlowe and Seamus, and a cat, Watson. They are both (all) very committed to animals and their welfare, and lend a lot of support, both in time and financial charity to the Pasadena Humane Society and SCPA.
He homebrews and is a huge fan of the LA Kings, through good times and bad.
Wil Wheaton is a writer and has been influential to me in seeing alternative avenues of publishing, the importance of using social media to your advantage, and inspirational to keep going forward and to never stop writing.
He also has chronic depression and generalized anxiety, something that I can understand, having similar, if not the same diagnoses. I can only imagine how much harder it is when you’re a celebrity and all eyes are on you when you’re out in public. He is one of the voices speaking out against the stigma of mental illness and supports NAMI among other groups who help.
Visit his official website: Wil Wheaton