“To know someone’s story is to love them.” – Lori Fascilla
I heard this phrase echoed throughout our home in my childhood. My mother is, and has always been, a strong believer that when we take the time to truly know another human and come to understand their story – we cannot help but love them. It is a belief I am grateful she passed on to me.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
When we take the time to learn another’s unique experiences, feelings, and perspective we come to understand them better. Seeking to understand is one of the most compassionate acts we can offer one another. Statistically, we all know someone who has either endured or is currently experiencing a mental health condition. If you can think of a friend or family member who has shared in passing that they struggle with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, OCD, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or substance use disorder – I urge you to reach out to them. Learn their story.
To the outer world, many individuals with mental health conditions may appear to have an easy, untroubled, or even perfect life. In reality, the inner world those with mental health conditions endure on a daily basis can be painful, isolating and overwhelming.
Mental Health Awareness Month deserves your attention. I ask you to learn someone’s story this month, increase your education surrounding this topic, and become a vocal advocate. Help us foster a compassionate society who refuses to silence or shame each other for attributes beyond our control. To support Mental Health Awareness is to support the people you love.
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