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!
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!