With world mental health day approaching on October 10, it’s a good time to get positive. A great way to do this is to remove the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues. I’ve heard it expressed in this really concise and powerful way. Mental health is like physical health, we all have it. We all need to look after it.
Just as there is no shame in breaking an ankle, needing glasses, or taking heart medicine, so too for our mental health. There is no shame in needing help to think, feel and react in ways that we want.
I respect when someone with celebrity status uses their voice to help others.
Enter Lady Gaga.
Having endured less than ideal mental health at various times in her life, she began the foundation “Born This Way” to support the wellness of young people while being fiercely kind, compassionate, accepting and inclusive. She is unafraid to say that she herself has struggled, and she wants to help others so that they do not need to suffer alone and in silence. Part of the mission statement at the Born This Way foundation reads, “We celebrate the individuality of those we serve, and we revere the bravery it takes to reach out and start the conversation. Together, we’re building a community that provides approachable resources, fosters genuine connection, and drives action.”
Three very powerful ideas leap off the page when I read this statement. “Celebrate the individuality”, “Start the conversation”, and “Genuine connection”.
These ideas are all very actionable. Herein lies the extremely easy way that we can all celebrate World Mental Health Day this October. And it’s free.
I Haven't Shared This With People Too Often
I’m going to tell you something that I don’t share with people too often. For context reasons you should know that I kind of lack confidence, although I’d say in the last 5 or so years, I’ve definitely gained more than I used to have. Due to this lack of confidence and the fact that I’m not the type of person to tell the world my problems, when I do share parts of my story here on social media, it’s because I feel that by putting it out there, someone else might be helped. So, here’s the thing I want to share.
I’ve contemplated suicide a few times in my life.
Can Art be a Partner to Greater Emotional and Mental Well Being?
I paint as a way to express emotions, as a sort of therapy, a way to tell stories, mine or those of others. This new series entitled "Elements" is no different. Each painting is a reminder and inspiration to remember the foundations of becoming and staying a strong woman - or human really. While there are many traits that can build our character, and strengthen our mental health, I believe that the four I chose to paint for this series “Elements”, are foundational, and that the others will come after these four are firmly rooted. Continue reading to see how I believe that hope, strength, bliss and self-love can lead to superior mental and emotional well being.*