Greetings all! I hope that everyone enjoyed a happy and fulfilled weekend. Here’s to the start of a greater week than we had last week! This week’s entry is about the importance of having a support network. For many of us, we thrive when we have someone who is able to push us or remind us of what our goals are; whether it be our family, friends, coworkers, our trainer at the gym, etc. We need these people to be able to encourage us when we do not feel that we have it in us to be successful, or when we need that extra “kick in the butt” to keep us going. The need for a support network for individuals who have mental illness is even more paramount; as many feel that they are alone in how they are feeling. As discussed in the previous week’s posts, we must all work towards ending the stigma of mental illness; as this is an integral reason why many individuals who live with mental illness feel that they are alone or outcast. There are many support groups for both individuals with mental illness as well as for those who support their loved ones through their journey, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org), Al-Anon or Alateen (support groups for families of individuals battling alcohol addiction), and online support groups. There are many Facebook groups that are focused on providing individuals with mental illness or addiction with peer support; and these allow for a sense of security and privacy (even in the world of FB) because they are closed groups and what you post does not appear on your newsfeed for your “friends” to see. Additionally there are blogs that are written by individuals with mental illness as they learn more about their diagnoses, discuss their obstacles and successes, as well as provide a sort of peer support to their readers. Please be advised that none of these suggestions should completely take the place of seeking out aid and support from a licensed mental health practitioner; however, they can help you not feel like you are the only person who is having to deal with the struggles of mental illness or substance use. They can also aid those around you to know how to better support you as you go through your journey.
Here’s to supporting one another towards greatness!