If there is one message to get across to those struggling with mental illness, it is this: You Are Not Alone.
As I write this, my daughter is attending the funeral of a 25 year-old friend who took his life. I did not know the young man, but I know he was deeply loved by his family and friends. And I know that their lives without him, are forever changed.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness says more than 50 million adults in America experienced mental illness in 2019. In the last couple of years, those numbers have risen, thanks in part to the pandemic.
43% of adults say the pandemic has seriously impacted their mental health. Younger adults, especially those between 18 and 29, are more likely to report serious mental health effects.
If we are to put an end to the pain and grief so many are experiencing, we must start talking openly, honestly and without reservation about our mental health. That is exactly what we do in this week’s episode of Our Voices Matter Podcast, “Mental Health: Parenting & Purpose.”
Deandra Hennemann is a licensed therapist who has worked with sexual assault and human trafficking survivors.
And Joshua Donaldson founded When The Music Stops, a non-profit that supports emotional and mental health through music, community and love. Josh is a survivor of suicide.
Our goal is simple: to normalize conversations like this and encourage each other to take care of our mental health. And whatever you are going through, know this: You Are Not Alone.