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'Mental Health Month'

May 18

Mental Health Matters

Posted to Fishers, Indiana on May 18, 2016 at 5:14 PM by Blog Admin

As part of Mental Health Month, we're asking residents to share their #MentalIllnessFeelsLike stories here on City Blog. Submissions are accepted through the month of may. Click here to share your story. 

by Janie Gunn


I was blessed to grow up in a large Catholic family. With 8 sisters and 2 brothers life was busy. My sister Connie was 1 year younger than me. She began displaying erratic behaviors in her sophomore year in high school. Connie was normally an introverted and artistically gifted girl. Her descent into mental illness happened quickly. She ended up in Methodist Hospital after a psychotic break when she was 16. 

Although the diagnosis was not shared with us looking back I think she was schizophrenic.  She was seeing a psychiatrist who put her on medication. My parents were overwhelmed with dealing with a child with mental illness and coped in the best ways they knew how at the time. Which meant that no one really talked about it too much.

One summer Connie started giving away anything of meaning to her. Artwork, favorite clothing, etc. Living with a tortured mind was becoming too much. So she took the prescription from her psychiatrist- the whole bottle- one night and died.

The next morning my mom found her unresponsive and went into shock. Concerns about what the neighbors thought and the fact that in Catholicism suicide was considered a mortal sin overwhelmed her. Her emotional response was to shut down. My dad was able to express his grief in a more healthy manner. 

I have learned how important it is to be able to talk about it. To seek professional counseling when needed. That shutting down your feelings just means that they will come up later and be even harder to deal with. Removing any stigma attached to mental illness truly matters.  

My nephew Craig also committed suicide. He struggled with alcoholism and depression for a long time. I found him after he hung himself. I went into shock at the time and shut down as a coping mechanism. Thankfully, I was able to recognize what I was doing and able to talk through it. 

Life is a journey of ups and downs and building resiliency during the down times is what helps me through. It also helps me appreciate the more joyful times. My yoga and spiritual practices help me cultivate physical, mental & emotional wellness.  

May 12

Mental Health Month: Do You Know What #MentalIllnessFeelsLike?

Posted to Fishers, Indiana on May 12, 2016 at 2:47 PM by Blog Admin

May is mental health month, a national initiative by Mental Health America to raise awareness of the importance of speaking up about mental health, and asking individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like by tagging social media posts with #MentalIllnessFeelsLike.

 #MentalIllnessFeelsLike is an effort to understand what it feels like to live with a mental illness. It is an encouragement for residents to talk openly and honestly about mental illness. Sharing is the key to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and to showing others they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.

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Posting with our hashtag is a way to speak up, to share your point of view with people who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and to help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available. But not everyone knows what to look for when they are going through those early stages, and many simply experience symptoms differently. We all need to speak up early and in real, relatable terms so that people do not feel isolated and alone.

Talking about what life with a mental illnesses feels like means giving voice to feelings and fears, and to hopes and dreams. It means empowering people as agents of their own recovery. And it means changing the trajectories of our own lives for the better, and helping those we love change theirs. Let’s talk about what life with a mental illness feels like, to voice what we are feeling, so others can know they are not alone.

Visit City Blog each week at www.fishers.in.us/Blog for guest posts on #MentalIllnessFeelsLike. Want to submit a blog post? We're looking for contributors throughout the month of May. To submit a post, email Tiffany Holbert

You can also share your story by using the hashtag #MentalIllnessFeelsLike on social media. Please tag our accounts so we can see and share your posts.

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