“Growing up in an Asian household, it is difficult to talk about mental health. My parents would shut me down if I talked about it. They would say, “It is all in your head.” I would respond by saying, “Exactly! That’s the problem.”
When I went off to college and lived by myself for the first time, mental health became an issue. Tests and grades got me stressed. The stress turned into depression, and that depression turned into psychosis and euphoria. My mood fluctuated and as a result, my behavior was unpredictable. I had no self-restraint in things that I did. I did not think of the consequences. I would cause public nuisance by myself. All these things happened while my friends were trying to reach me. I lost track of time or the concept of time. I stopped going to classes, as well. The details of what happened to me are hazy, but at the end, I ended up in a mental institution and started to rehabilitate there. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Stories like mine happen all the time, but we don’t really hear about it because there is a stigma around mental health. I am here to stand with those who are struggling with mental health and to also say that it is okay to talk about it. Mental health is a real issue and should be addressed and made known to the public. As you can see, from my story, mental health can cause harm to those around you not just yourself.” - Matthew
“I lost a good friend last month. She lost her battle with depression. She took her own life. She was smart, beautiful, and funny. You would not be able to tell she was suffering from mental illness -- and now she is gone. She was 37 years old.
No one should ever have to go through this alone. I was not able to help save her life, but maybe I can with others by raising mental health awareness. No one talks about it, but this is REAL and this is a call for action. Stop mental health stigma. You can help save someone’s life." - Joanna
"Throughout my life, there have been several personal “connecting points” or significant stories related to mental health that affected me. As a young boy, I recall my grandfather telling me a story about how when he was a boy, his father killed himself with a shotgun blast. He didn’t elaborate on why and I was too stunned to ask questions. I remember feeling very sorry for my grandfather and his father. Later in my life, my significant girlfriend lost her mother to suicide as well. It was devasting to her and her family. She never really recovered from the loss. As I learned more about my great grandfather’s life and the life of my girlfriend’s mothers, there was one common thread. They were both plagued by severe depression throughout their lives. While it wasn’t always obvious, there were signs that no one acted on and it eventually caught up with them. Because of these events, I have always had a sensitivity to those who suffer with their mental health. I believe we should all be more empathetic given the frequency of this illness." - Jim
DID YOU KNOW?
• 450 million people suffer from a mental health condition at any given moment worldwide.
• 1 in 5-6 adults will experience a mental illness in the course of a year.
• Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in youth ages 10-34.
• Mental illness is TREATABLE and no one needs to suffer in silence.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
MENTAL HEALTH COLLABORATIVE (MCH)
• A non-profit organization dedicated to ending stigma and improving mental health literacy across communities by moving away from a crisis-based response toward a model of prevention through education and awareness.
• What is Mental Health Literacy?
◘ Ability to take better care of self, loved-ones and communities
◘ Understanding how to optimize and maintain good mental health
◘ Understanding mental illness and their treatments
◘ Decreasing stigma
◘ Enhancing help-seeking efficacy
◘ Mental Health Collaborative is a tax exempt 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.
◘ Every dollar counts towards their goal of building resilient communities through mental health literacy.
◘ Your donation can help Mental Health Collaborative champion good mental health for communities.
Please click on the DONATE button. You can help save a life!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
In memory of Dara Bascara (Nov 1983 - Mar 2021) who lost her battle with depression. May she rest in peace.