World Suicide Prevention Day- Awareness Through Writing

imagesThere’s no secret that I’ve been a huge advocate for mental health awareness over the past several years. My motivation for writing has always been making others feel less alone. This has been the reason I’ve written candidly about my struggles with depression and anxiety, in addition weekly therapy sessions. Also, I’ve shared more recently how my mother’s own mental health struggles impacted my childhood and our relationship. Because of the internet, someone can look for an essay or another voice that can possibly understand their feelings. Through the bravery of other writers, I’ve been rejuvenated and reminded during dark moments that with continued perseverance things will get better.

When I set foot into the counseling center at St. John’s University during the spring semester of my sophomore year, I thought it was a one time deal. A close friend had been suicidal and was checked into a hospital for a nervous breakdown. We were both so alike, and the fears of my own future taking a similar path trumped the preconceived notions I had about therapy.

Over the past seven years since that initial session, I can thank several mixtures of antidepressants, a 2 fantastic therapists and a whole lot of healing for helping me thrive. The free weekly therapy sessions offered throughout my college education saved my life, and is 100% the most important resource that helped me get through my undergraduate degree. Words cannot express the gratitude of the free services, that I would have not been able to pay on a student budget. During my darkest episodes of depression and anxiety, the idea of taking my own life wasn’t farfetched. I am so thankful for the voice inside my heart that kept encouraging me to go to therapy sessions, continue to heal and to find a medication that worked best for me. So many are not that fortunate.

images (1)I’m lucky to have a 3 close friends who have been able support me during episodes of anxiety and depression. They are the ones that have asked if I was okay, or made sure that I was continuously taking my medication. Having those few people in my life that will speak up when they sense something off is priceless.

Below are in the pieces I’ve written about mental health issues over the past several years. In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, I hope that you read/share/repost this so that someone (or you) can perhaps feel less alone. In raising my voice, I hope it encourages others to raise their own to advocate for their own mental health wellness.

How I’m Surviving In Survival Mode During A Severe Depression Relapse 

The Christmas Cat That Worked Better Than Xanax

The Heartache of Bullying Doesn’t Have an Age Limit

Is Therapy Really Worth It? 7 Questions People Who See a Shrink Are Tired of Hearing

My Family Hid My Mother’s Mental Health Struggles During My Childhood, And I’m Still Dealing With It

Generations Of Dysfunctional Body Image Ends With Me

Throwing Warm and Fuzzy out the Window

Sanity or Self-Esteem?

Moving on From Being Dark and Twisty

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You Never Think It Could Happen to Your Family

For over a year and a half, I had the opportunity to work as the Digital Media Coordinator for Philabundance. Philabundance is the Delaware Valley’s region’s largest food bank, providing food to over 75,000 people each week. During my time there, I learned how prevalent hunger was in my own neighborhood. While working on Philabundance’s 30th anniversary event earlier this year, I had the opportunity to showcase the impact Philabundance has on the Delaware Valley region. With the help of the amazing videographer Dave Case, I produced this short video to act as a case of support in why community members needed to help Philabundance provide services to neighbors in need. It was an incredible process to learn the stories of community members who found themselves in situations that they never dreamed of encountering. As well as the inspirational stories of volunteers who dedicate their time to make sure others have food on their tables.

Please take 3 minutes and watch how a financial contribution can make a difference in the life of someone going through a tough time. Then, consider making a donation to Philabundance or Feeding America to make the holiday season a bit brighter.  $1 can provide 2 meals to someone that is unsure if they’ll have enough money to eat dinner this week after they pay their bills.

 

Tweet and Meet Friday 9/19

twitter-iconOne of the big appeals of Twitter is the instantaneous ability to connect. As a writer who mainly shares a twenty-something perspective, I’m always looking for others who cover similar topics, and can relate to my writing. My work will probably not appeal to a baby-boomer far removed from the days of quarter-life limbo, but will for those in the thick of the same conundrums.

When I come across writers whose words resonate with me, I’m always eager to explore their work. In a series of 140 character tweets, I can share their writing, sing their praises, and follow them to stay updated on their projects. It really is a great time to be a blogger right now!

Here are a few awesome writers I’ve connected with through Twitter in the last week that are worth adding to your feed! 

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