Why I Promised to Take Care of My Mental Health in My Wedding Vows

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WeddingOne month ago today, my partner Rich and I stood under a big tent during the loveliest late-summer rain storm and did a really wonderful thing:  We got married.

Our wedding was beautiful and special and fun and silly — all the things we had hoped it would be during the months of planning. We stood under the alter in front of our friends and family, and I promised all the typical things you promise in your wedding vows — to love him and support him and take care of him when he’s sick, etc.

But there was one thing I added that wasn’t so typical: that I would take care of myself and my mental health, too.

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Mental Health News Round Up: July 10

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Coping While Black: A Season Of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll

Psychologist are researching race-based trauma in light of the recent shooting in at the historically black AME church in Charleston and the burning of black churches. Microagressions, race based violence, and racism cause trauma that harms the mental health of African American, but researchers believe the official DSM definition of race based trauma is too narrow.

Why the Words We Use to Talk About Mental Health Are Important

Words like “crazy,” “bonkers,” or “psycho” that demonize people living with mental health conditions only promote the stigma that prevents people from seeking the life saving treatment they need. This VICE opinion piece echoes Active Minds’ mission and argues that “showing kindness and sensitivity in the language we use should not be a grave imposition on our being – it should be a basic requirement of our humanity.”

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Mental Health News Round Up: June 26

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How Colleges Stop Depressed Students From Returning To Campus

UntitledThis Buzzfeed article follows one student’s experience with Brown University’s leave of absence policy locking him out of his education by denying him readmission 5 times. The Active Minds Chapter at Brown is working administrators to create change about mental health on campus.

It’s Not about Mental Illness: The Big Lie that Always Follows Mass Shootings by White Males

This Salon article argues that solely blaming mental illness after a mass shooting not only further stigmatizes mental health and impedes help seeking, but avoids addressing the deeper issues of the madness of the society that we live in.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: May 29

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14 Common Misconceptions About People Who Go to Therapy

How does stigma affect people’s willingness to say the words “I go to therapy”? This author debunks 14 popular misconceptions to encourage more people to seek treatment.

Beautiful Train Music Video Honors Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness

Train releases their music video for Give It All blending the power of dance and music to express loss and encourage those who are struggling to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine at 1 (800) 273-8255.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: May 22

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Colleges Relieve Pressure Post Suicides

In a Huffington Post Live interview, Active Minds at MIT, Active Minds national office, and the Jed Foundation discussed the multi-faceted pressures college students face, administrative policies about leaves, and help seeking behaviors.  The video is well worth a watch for all StigmaFighters working to change the conversation about mental health.

A Commencement Speech For The Already Graduated: Be Courageous

In honor of commencement speeches, one Forbes author has advice for graduates and non-graduates alike: be courageous because anxiety is inevitable. Finding healthy ways to cope with anxiety should be our goal.

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Program Bank Spotlight: iSupport Bracelet Campaign

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1962804_748149121863433_2142951318_nHave you heard about Active Minds at UCLA‘s iSupport Bracelet Campaign? Chapter members made and sold friendship bracelets to show love, support and awareness of mental health conditions.

Each bracelet is created with special colors to bring awareness to a different mental health conditions. Students can request and receive a custom-made bracelet supporting a specific condition (or multiple conditions). For example, for students requesting bracelets in support of substance abuse awareness, the chapter members create a bracelet primarily in the color red, the official color for substance abuse awareness.

By selling these bracelets on campus, Active Minds at UCLA is educating its community about mental health and raising funds at the same time — surpassing its fundraising goal of $1,000. Continue Reading

Mental Health News Round-Up: Jan. 2

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maxresdefaultIs Your New Year Resolution Hurting Your Mental Health?

About 50 percent of people make New Year resolutions every year, but almost 90 percent will fail. Some say that setting ourselves up for this annual failure means our mental health suffers, as we feel discouraged about our inability to lose weight, be healthier or improve jobs or relationships.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: Dec. 19

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ManIsolatedAmongMen-DepressionWhy Depression is Underreported in Men

Men oftentimes don’t recognize symptoms, try to tough out difficulties for fear of the social stigma, and hide their feelings, which can lead to disastrous outcomes including drug abuse and a higher rate of death by suicide.

Computer Program May Reduce Anxiety and Suicide

After noting anxiety sensitivity as a risk factor, researchers at Florida State University designed a computer program to prevent suicide my managing anxiety. Although the program is only 45 minutes long, the recent results look promising.

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Stress Less Week: Prioritizing Self-Care as a Mental Health Advocate

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Welcome to the Winter 2014 Stress Less Week blog series! Learn more about how to host a Stress Less event on your campus.

I have come to believe that caringfor (1)You’re a mental health advocate. That’s a tough job with a lot of responsibilities. When you “come out,” so-to-speak, as someone who struggles with mental illness or advocates on behalf of those who do, you open yourself up to the very likely possibility that other people will want to talk to you about their own struggles.

On one hand, that’s a really beautiful thing. It speaks volumes to the importance of story-telling and bearing our truths so that others may also come forward.

But there’s a downside to being so open and accessible about these very tough issues. You have to know and accept your limits as a person. And I struggled for a long time before I finally realized that.

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