This month is Mental Health Awareness month, and when thinking about what to write, I realized I needed to break it down into a few posts. I am passionate about mental health and discovered this when I was in nursing school. I remember taking a class and learning about holistic health. How we as nurses should treat the whole patient, not just their medical symptoms. If you’ve ever been in the hospital or are currently battling a disease, you might have first hand experience on how it can effect every part of you. Your health can take a toll on your emotions, your spirit, and your mind. Looking back, I’m so grateful my school introduced me to this concept, because health is so much more than our physical bodies.
After working as a nurse for a few years, I decided to go back and obtain my master’s in psychiatric nursing. Being a middle child, and a person that has always had friends span different groups, I often found myself in the workout role. The one that bridged the gap, mended miscommunications or worked to de-escalate a situation. I found myself comfortable in listening to other people’s situations and trying to help them through them.
What I discovered is that mental health and illness isn’t something in one place, a certain group of people, or only in treatment centers. It’s within all parts of our community because everyone experiences difficult moments or may be actively working on themselves. And that’s ok! There is such a stigma about expressing our emotions, anxieties, or struggles with maintaining mental health. And I hope that can change soon. People who are struggling with internal battles deserve the same love and support that patients with a heart condition, cancer, kidney disease or other physical ailments receive. Everyone deserves to be treated with compassion, and it really can make such a difference in the lives of others.