How to become a mental health advocate? You do not need a degree, a diagnosis or work as a licensed therapist to become a mental health advocate. The general idea behind advocacy is supporting mental health by spreading awareness, reducing stigma and supporting the cause. If you are looking for a way to become a mental health advocate, don’t worry I’ve got your back.
I have never been the type of person to worship the ground celebrities walk on. Although, I must admit the whole Kylie Jenner pregnancy chaos kept me up some nights. On a real note though, it is disappointing to see people with such a massive platform not taking a stand on anything in a society that needs people to utilize their voice for good. There is no real message, commitment or loyalty to the community that supports them. However, I am happy to say that it seems like this is changing. In this post, I share some significant celebs who are speaking up for mental health and using their platform to stand up to stigma. Read more
One of the best parts of being a mental health advocate is the connections you make to others with a similar passion for life and mental health. I was thrilled when Julie Kraft, author of the incredible book, The Other Side of Me: Memoir Of a Bipolar Mind, agreed to share part of her story with me. She is both beautiful on the outside and on the inside. In this interview, Julie shares her journey with bipolar disorder and opens up about motherhood, love, stigma and how a move from her home in Canada to Germany gave her clarity in a world that made her feel so clouded. Thank you, Julie, for speaking your truth. Read more
This past Saturday, March 4th, I had the opportunity to speak with Rebecca and Joe Lombardo on their blog talk radio show Voices for Change 2.0 podcast. Prior to the show, people always ask me one particular question, “Are you nervous Hannah.” The part of me that always puts on a strong front answers, “No not at all. I am used to this by now.” The other part of me answers, “Hell yeah I am nervous.” The show was live, meaning anything I revealed stuck like glue. Luckily for me, Rebecca Lombardo eased my nerves days prior to the show. We talked about the podcast, but no specifics. It is better not to have the questions prior to a show like this. The thing that put me most at ease, was that Rebecca has bipolar disorder as well and has been sharing her story for years. For an hour we talked about our work as mental health advocates, the future of mental health and parts of our own story living with bipolar disorder. Read more
Treatment plans for mental health care differ from situation to situation. In some cases, it calls for therapy and in other cases medication is needed. This doesn’t mean that when you wake up feeling sad, you call the doctor and start popping pills. However, when depression or severe emotional behavior begins to affect your daily life, work and relationships, it is time to seek help. There is no shame in taking medicines if needed. If you get the flu do you take meds? Yes. So what is the difference when it is the flu of the mind. There is none. Would you blame someone who lost her husband in war for seeking out medication for anxiety? Would you judge a woman for taking antidepressants who lost her child 2 months shy of his 1st birthday to cancer? We all want to end up at the same place, but some need to take a different route to the intersection of happy and healthy. There is no shame in that.
Reasons why people feel uneasy taking meds for the head… Read more
We have all seen the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, and Kat’s memorable speech to Heath Ledger at the end of the movie. Familiar? While reading this post, think about Stigma as if it is a person. Stigma has influenced many in society to make negative assumptions about mental health conditions. Stigma is like a bully.
1o things I hate about stigma… Read more
It was six years ago that I had my first major episode with Bipolar 2 while in College. I was living with a group of girls who this story is about. In the last month before I withdrew from school, I kept my struggle hidden from others, especially myself. Two days before I left, my parents were called by 2 of my friends. They told them that I was falling apart. Day by day I was getting worse. They realized they couldn’t help me, and decided not to tell the other girls. I do not like to talk about the pain of the past. However, a few days ago I learned that sometimes it is necessary to walk down memory lane, no matter how dark the road is… Read more
I was walking through a dark tunnel, no light to be seen. All I could hear were the echoes of my own voice. In the moment that I wanted to stop, to give up on finding the light, I felt the strength and confidence you had instilled in me over the years, prior to this moment. You didn’t come into the tunnel to guide me to the light, for you knew that would not help me in the end. You gave me the knowledge, the power and confidence to overcome this battle prior to me entering. As I walked into the light again, you were standing there gleaming with joy saying to me, “I never doubted you Hannah….I knew you wouldn’t give up.”-Halway2hannah
The first man who had his heart broken by me,was my father. To see the little girl who danced to the beat of her own drum laying in a hospital bed, withering away only 19 years later; he could protect me from everything in my life, but the one person he couldn’t protect me from was me.
This is a letter to my father from his daughter with bipolar… Read more
If you are looking for me to say how much I hate my life with bipolar 2 disorder, you will not find it in this post. It does not define me, but it is a major part of who I am. If you erase my bipolar disorder, you erase me as a whole. I am never going to live without it, and I want to give others a taste of my reality. I do not place pressure on myself to be perfect. I am honest. This is my mind; this is my journey. Here is a little bit of what it is like to live in the mind of a 28-year-old diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder. Read more
64 Mental Health Quotes that help you understand the struggle, the stigma and the hope for a better future! Never give up!
If you are in need of support, please go to the Halfway2hannah Support Page!
You are not alone.