May is Mental Health Awareness Month So with that being said, here are some reminders as always.
1. Mental illness is not a just white thing.
Let’s say it louder so those in the back can hear: MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT JUST A WHITE THING!!!!!!!!!
Too many people scoff off things like depression, paranoia, anxiety, etc as things only white people deal with, not realizing that many of their own have been struggling for years. Us people of color have had to endure watching loved ones die due to gang violence. We’ve had our families broken up due to divorce and imprisonment. The black community occasionally has a bad tendency of protecting people who should’ve been registered as sex offenders and thrown in jail ages ago (COUGH! BILL COSBY! COUGH), causing sex offenders to run rampant in families and religious communities.
Racism is still a thing that many people of color deal with even though there are people who are convinced racism is no longer a thing. People of color deal with many complex issues very few understand and are taught to “stay strong” and “man up.” Us people of color need to do better when it comes to encouraging our brothas and sistas to get help when life becomes too much to handle.
I’ve seen an unfortunate trend where young people of color are committing suicide, and their families can’t quite understand why. Those who don’t off themselves will let their mental illness drive them, thus perpetuating some of the gang violence and abuse within the black community. Seriously, get help! If no one around you supports your decision to get mental health care then it’s time to find a new circle.
2. Your religion isn’t a substitute for practical mental health care.
Let me say it louder for those in the back: YOUR RELIGION ISN’T A SUBSTITUTE FOR PRACTICAL MENTAL HEALTH CARE!!!!!!!
All too often I’ve watched people blame ones mental state for not having a good faith. During one of my bouts of depression, I convinced myself I was a shitty Catholic because I couldn’t manage my sadness or suicidal thoughts. By the grace of God, it was a priest in the confessional who told me to go get help. Without him, I’d probably be dead.
Your faith can supplement mental health care, but it shouldn’t be a replacement. You’d go to a doctor if any part of your body was hurting; going to see a psychiatrist or a therapist isn’t any different. Mental health should ALWAYS be a vital part of your overall health. I see a therapist to this day and don’t regret it for a second.
3. You don’t have to wait for the next celebrity meltdown, suicide, or both to have a conversation on mental illness.
Let’s say it loud again for the back: YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT CELEBRITY MELTDOWN, SUICIDE, OR BOTH TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ON MENTAL ILLNESS!
It irks me that I’ll only see people sharing the suicide hotline phone number and other mental health resources AFTER another mental health incident with a celebrity.
I wish we wouldn’t be afraid to have this conversation everyday. The more we talk about mental illness, the less of a stigma it’ll be.
4. It is okay to take meds.
Let’s do it up for the back one last time,
IT IS OKAY TO TAKE MEDS!!!!!!!!
There has become a long running stigma against meds. While I do agree that some are over medicated, there are those who genuinely need meds, and people should never be shamed for doing so. I personally chose not to take meds, but I know that there are people who do genuinely need them, so it is not my place to judge. As long as meds are accompanied by professional help, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Never be afraid to get help. You can ALWAYS inbox me if you’re hurting,and need someone to listen. If your circle ain’t supportive of the steps you’re taking to CONSTRUCTIVELY improve your mental health then it’s time to find new friends, maybe even a new family. I
f you’re ever feeling alone, just remember I’ve got your back. God got your back too, even though some of y’all haven’t FaceTimed/what’s app’d him in years.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.