I have recently become aware of an organization called Make It OK. This organization is all about normalizing conversations about and removing the stigma around mental illness. Last Friday my employer encouraged us to wear green to support Make It OK and I was happy to participate.
This is, of course, a cause near and dear to my own mentally ill heart. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in my late 20s, but I believe I had been dealing with it since I was quite young. And while medication and 2 stints in therapy have been instrumental in my treatment mental illness is often like an other chronic condition- you manage it, but you are never cured. I have more good days than bad, but I do have bad days and likely always will.
We have come a long ways in our acceptance of mental illness since I was diagnosed, but we still have a ways to go. I still have conversations with people who think I should be able to “Just snap out of it” or that people who consider suicide are “just looking for attention”. And it’s incredibly frustrating! Would you tell someone with cancer to “just snap out of it”? Would you tell a diabetic they are “just looking for attention”?, Of course not. I can no more control this can someone with a thyroid condition can will that to work properly.
I encourage everyone, whether you have personal experience with mental illness or not, to check out https://makeitok.org/ . They have a ton of great information there. You can also sign up for their newsletter and even sign up to become an ambassador for the cause.
Let’s all work together to Make It OK.