Think Pink? Think GREEN!

Happy Mental Health Month!

(This is a repost from 2015….with love from 2017!)

First, check out NIMH’s study & sign up for bipolar disorder research. I’m going to!

Click HERE to see if qualify for NIMH/NIH research. One email, a 2-4 hr phone call & a blood test!

Happy Mental Health Month!

You might be looking at your computers or iWatches or calendars or phones and noticing the date. Yes, I realize Mental Health Month is almost over but I’ve been busy minding my health and working on my books. Isn’t everyone busy?

I mean no disrespect to our cancer friends, but I am sick and tired of pink. When will green matter? I search for it but find no green in any of our communities during May (or at all). Will any town ever line their streets with green? Pink is everywhere and mental illness has been around as long as cancer. Maybe in a few decades when we get sick of pink we’ll introduce it. Maybe one brave town will display green somewhere. By then I’ll probably be sucking on oxygen, have a pacemaker or be flying around town on one of those very cool looking scooters. (Or worse, be stuck in some home because I’ve lost all my marbles.) Hopefully, I will be just fine because I’ve taken good care of myself.

So why a whole month for the mentally ill while some causes only get a day or week? For one, we need it, or at least, I know I do. Two, we get shafted everywhere else; it’s about time the scales were tipped in our favor somewhere.

Can you imagine the day when green bras will hang in store fronts? Again, no disrespect to cancer, breast or otherwise. (I can feel the hate mail coming.) Can you picture green banners waving with ‘think green’? How about green bows and pens for sale to raise money for mental illness? How many do you think people would buy if the merchants would even accept them and put them out? How long would that take?

Forgive me, but you know I have to stand up in every article for my peeps. I have lost loved ones to cancer so I am not ‘anti-cancer’ don’t put me there. Surely though, we deserve the money for research and the same respect as any other illness. How long will that take? We have the whole month to get your attention though I often wonder if anyone outside the mental health community cares.

As I drive alongside the pink line in the road – yes they paint them here – I can’t imagine when we’ll have a green one. The only green in town is our lawn, finally, and others. (I live in New Jersey, not California.) Celebration, in addition to advocacy and anti-stigma, is to feel good about yourself. If we felt any of this from our community, I would feel better.

I want to paint the town green, the street, storefronts, my nails (though how long could I take it) and maybe spray paint some shrubs. Wait, they are already green. Okay, I’ll think of something. Maybe I’ll spray paint the caution tape we have around our new grass, though something tells me people will not make the correlation. They would simply pile it on to the other reasons why their new neighbors are odd.

We’re still new in the neighborhood and I don’t know how fast it has spread that there are two mentally ill girls on the block. (I told my neighbor I was a mental health writer and you should have seen his eyes. And I thought ‘health’ was a good spin!)

Maybe one May I’ll be doing running leaps up and down our street at our town’s announcement that we’re honoring Mental Health Month in some fashion. I’ll take a green sticker somewhere or an acknowledgment in the monthly newsletter; I’m easy. I’m not suggesting lighting the school tower in green – though one night would be cool. We could postpone that to December and make it blend in for the holidays. I’m not even demanding a green stripe downtown; although, a nice, lime green alongside the pink would look lovely. I’m willing to share. Besides, this is a preppy town and wouldn’t they look nice together? I’ll even settle for a sticker at town hall. We could squeeze it into a shamrock, put it up in March and take it down in June, kind of like a lingering St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Something, anything. Geez.

I love pink and am a cancer supporter so no tomatoes at your screen. (Why waste a good pc?) Uncle Rick, I miss you.

Look, we just need more green. Maybe you’d help me paint the other stripe green. XO

I hope your Mental Health Month has been and continues to a good one, mania, depression and hospital free.

And hey, check out my/our tips to combat mania, depression and maintain wellness in our Two Bipolar Chicks book!





8 thoughts on “Think Pink? Think GREEN!

  1. Okay, Wendy, you got me so fired up about GREEN that I went and spray painted little green ribbons all over my bright white Suburu Forester!!!
    I wish! 😉

    That would actually be WAY cool! We already have the “Mystery Machine” van a few miles down the road, which (honest-to-God) looks like the real thing. Why not a Green Ribbon mobile???

    I am right there with you when it comes to the Green cause being ignored in comparison all the colors of the Causes Rainbow; however, when it comes to pink, in no way do I mean to offend anyone affected by breast cancer. I lost a young friend to breast cancer, and I’ve had my own scare & surgery so I don’t want to be insensitive. (As if a double Pisces could be anything but sensitive!)

    I actually think that the mental health awareness campaigns have become too unfocused.

    Our goals to reduce stigma haven’t been achieved although yes, there has been progress, but not the hoped-for sea change. Suicide statistics are still sickeningly, shockingly sky-high.

    At this point I believe it would be more effective to back away from the ribbons & the red noses for that matter, and put money & volunteer hours into MORE pragmatic support services for us consumers and for caregivers/supporters, & suicide hotlines. These funds could also be used for educational weekend events for the public on World Bipolar Day or other times of the year, i.e. Fall.

    I’d also try to lure Stephen Fry and other brilliant, articulate & funny ambassadors like him to speak at any special educational event because that guy is amazing – he appeals to so many different folks who don’t have mental illness. He’s a Human Green Ribbon.

    Let’s personalize our mental health awareness campaign with people, hell, with DOGS, because ribbons aren’t enough.

    I’m glad your mental health month has been good!
    I’m thrilled with your writing output and I’m grateful that you’ve been free of mania, depression & the hospital!

    Keep us posted with your projects! I’m off to refill my favorite mug ever…my “Two Bipolar Chicks” masterpiece!


      • I might have to dye my hair bright green…but AFTER the Catamaran Fellowship Conference shindig! 😉 I’m SO glad that N. is trying an MAOI and I honestly am thinking of her every other minute!!!! And of you too!!!!!! Please keep me posted if you can! XOXOXOX

    • Dy, I’m going to guess that you have not been blogging a lot because of your book, right? How is that going? Is it a ‘truth’ ‘memoir’ book of your struggle and victories? I was gonna do fiction but I think I want to do what Wendy K says, the truth, the good, bad and ugly. Did you read the article by Andrew Soloman (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression 2001) his article on antenatal depression in last week’s New York Times Magazine? I read it and thought of you and Brooke Sheilds in that order and also my friend at Bipolar Whispers who is a mom. I think you are writing a very important book about an important topic.

  2. Yes, I agree with your sentiments. What comes to mind is a memory from childhood when the neighborhood streets were lined w/mailboxes, many w/a red flag to indicate if mail was in it. If we still had these, I would like to see the street w/ boxes colorfully spray- painted green. The message IS Important; no less than any other chronic illness. For some w/dual diagnoses it is even more complex. Will continue to do what I can to increase awareness in my daily life.

    • Yess! We still have the red flag mailboxes here. I vote for green.. Or something. Special. Dyane has a good point too until we get to that point.

      Dual diagnosis should have it’s own color, maybe a stripe?? We have it rough. It’s a struggle.. A lot of vigilance, maintenance and faith, at least for me.

      • Focused is good, you’re right as we are a ton in non-profits, some large and small, and yes, I agree, all over the place. Stephen Frye is the bomb, genuine, funny, deadpan and probing; he would do our cause justice on a larger scale. There is no one solution here but certainly your ideas make sense: to put resources towards the ho-hum “word” advocacy and more importantly you nailed it education. High school teens and colleges should be expose to mental health discussions because they are the ones on the front lines, the ones getting diagnosed, the ones helping their friends, the ones who are nearest to it initially.

        Anyhoo about to mediate to Deepak… I’ve started again! Tooodle oo!

    • Yes! Sorry this message is so late, Susan. Keep on the champion fight we’ve got here. Maybe we could create another color for the dual diagnosis crowd like me! Or, another shade of green!? Hey, I’d even be happy to share the pink. Green and pink, they go together. Thanks for all your efforts. Rock on! 🙂

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