Monthly Archives: August 2014

Breaking the Silence Takes a Village

We’ve heard the wisdom

it takes a village to raise a child

The same is true about breaking the silence about mental illness…it takes a village.

Mental health awareness and advocacy is a people’s movement. It is the collective voices of our multiple villages uniting for better mental health.

It takes a village speaking out to break down the stereotypes, stigma and shame surrounding mental illness.

These villages can be communities of faith, schools and workplaces.

Here are five steps to get your village talking about mental health:

1. Do some soul searching. How has mental illness impacted your life? Are you ready to break the silence about mental illness? Do you have support?

2. Begin to tell your story. Start by telling one other person.

3. Gather a small group together and dream about what your village can do to break the silence about mental illness. Organize a potluck or a picnic for families that have experience with mental illness. Form a book group or a movie night based on the theme of mental illness.

4. Be ready to point the way to the helpers. Look around and find your nearest professional mental health providers and educators. Gather local resources and be ready to share them. Breaking the silence about mental illness means opening the way for recovery and healing. This includes advocating for public mental health care.

5. Celebrate mental health recovery. Lift up hope. Breaking the silence about mental illness takes considerable emotional energy. Don’t let the trauma of mental illness outweigh the victories of mental health.

Blessed are the Crazy home movie

This 65 second short film artfully created by SALT Project represents in so many ways their mission to “reclaim and share the beauty of Christian faith through film, photography, music, poetry, and ideas.” Liz Myer, SALT’s Creative Director, took what is too often hidden and shameful and turned it into something beautiful and hopeful.

See if you can guess which one is me!

Thank you SALT Project for helping to break the silence about mental illness.

Crazy out of the box

This is a big week of firsts in my household:

first and only child that I birthed starts kindergarten

first book that I wrote arrives in the mail

My son started out this week declaring he quit school (even before it began) and came home after his fist day proclaiming he was in love, in love with school and in love with the little girl next to him in the lunch line.

So it is with things we birth and creatively bring into fullness of being. My book also resisted conformity at first. After all, how do you fit crazy onto the page?

Yet once it is done, the door opened and entered into, the manuscript completed and sent to the printers, it is totally worth it.

And I feel so blessed to know that what was first molded and shaped in my body’s womb and the womb of my mind is now out in the world: crazy and blessed.