With Bell Let’s Talk coming up in a couple of weeks, and Survivor’s Connection coming up just after that, I thought now would be a good time to discuss how to discuss the fact that you or someone you love may have mental health issues.

The first thing that is important to understand is that if you are being told someone you love has mental health issues, their issues are not about you, in particular. They may have been caused by stress, trauma, or PTSD from not dealing with stress and trauma.

I know that my mom for instance has PTSD from dealing with men during her working years, men who were vicious and cruel, as well as in her personal life. The issues she carries with her are not about “me” but I do contribute to them sometimes by being overly negative and loud.

The second thing you need to know is that while mental health issues are not fully “curable” at this time, they are manageable, through medication, focus work, and even spiritual work, mental health issues don’t have to be the end of your life.

Conversations about mental health can be filled with confusion and passion because it’s a scary thing to hear that you or someone you love has mental health issues when you don’t fully know what that means.

For some people, it can be bipolar disorder and for others, it can be psychosis, and everything in between, these are big words with big repercussions and that’s where the fear comes in. The good news is that the fear doesn’t last.

Once you become comfortable, with being uncomfortable and with not having all the answers, you become more encouraged to reach out and find others who are struggling too and suddenly you have this whole community of folks who are also dealing with mental health issues, who have been where you are, and who genuinely want to help you reach your best self.

Survivor’s Connection is my way of contributing to the mental health community by making space for those who are surviving and thriving (ew) during this time of struggle and strife. People from all over the world are invited to come together and share their mental health experiences, tricks, and tools for dealing with and healing, and to converse about what it means to have mental health issues.

It can be so terrifying to find out that your brain doesn’t work the way that you thought it was supposed to, but once you learn how to navigate your mental health issues everything changes for the better.

I spent years wanting to be a writer, and it wasn’t until I got sidelined from the world that I became what I spent my whole life wanting to be. I won’t say it’s been easy or particularly fun, but it’s been interesting to see the progression in my life throughout the years.

Finding people that understand was a complete and total experience changer. Suddenly I didn’t have to carry everything by myself, there were and continue to be people who are interested in carrying the load with me and showing me how to pack it up so that it isn’t as heavy as it used to be.

The three-hour discussion about mental health issues called Survivor’s Connection will be a chance for people to say “this is how I’m really feeling about this situation,” or “this is what I need from my mental health team that I’m not getting.”

It’s our opportunity to be heard and seen in the most honest and raw conversation about mental health that you’ll ever hear. Nothing is off limits from emotional trauma to sexual pleasure and everything. in between, we’ll discuss all of it.

If you’d like to join us tickets are free, the conversation will be recorded and live-streamed, and it’s open to anyone and everyone from eighteen and above.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

If you have thoughts you’d like to add about this post, please leave a message, and let’s talk about them in the comments below

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