Mental Health Awareness

This, my fellow citizen of earth, is the reason I feel like mental-health awareness month is vitally important. Solidarity is the solution.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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As you may or may not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month – see what I did there? What’s great about having a month dedicated to bringing awareness to those who are suffering from a mental health disorder, is that it brings hope for change.

While hope for change is a wonderful thing, I feel like it also can be a tool that helps to cultivate compassion. For me, understanding mental health requires a healthy dose of kindness. But in order to do that, we need to build a kinder, more what’s-best-for-everyone approach.

In other words, what if, from one side of our nation to another, people embraced the idea of cohesion? What if, say, countries put greater value on the nation of many ideas? What do you think would happen?

While I realize that this is easier said than done, let’s imagine for a moment that we did have a national- compassion type of society. Try to imagine what that would look like.

Read An Argument For Mental Health Funding

For example, as things stand today, does a priority on individualism really sponsor unity – a unity that we in modern times are fighting so hard for? Sounds a bit like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it?

I awake every day with the hope that our divided societies can unite and fight for the singular cause of easing the pain of everyone’s mental pain – a universal issue that knows no boundaries, knows not where you are from, the color of your skin or what your beliefs are.

This is what mental-health awareness month means to me: bringing awareness to a global issue that is worthy of a united solution.

Solidarity is the solution – it’s what we are wired for.

We, the human species, are wired to connect to others. Understanding some of the neurobiological mechanisms as to what makes us tick, can make us see that we are not that different. For example, individualism, in terms of evolutionary survival, was not as high a priority as the survival of the entire village. Therefore, the strength in numbers applied and unity was necessary… It’s been in our nature since the beginning, and it’s a central reason why we are here today.

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, we have opened the Wellness Shop, there you will find our Mental Health Merch page. There, you can by clothing that supports mental health and mental health awareness

So, I ask you, have the needs of the whole become obsolete? The answer is an unequivocal no. Rather, what we have done is place the individual needs above what’s best for all. A mistake in my view. Remember, I am not saying that individualism isn’t important. What I am saying is that its rank in priority is the problem and it’s not been good for “us.”

Don’t believe me? Well, as far as I can see, the seeds of individualism are fracturing nations. I can’t even count the number of people who have said to me: “I know we have big problems we need to solve, but I just feel too overwhelmed by it all. No one is doing the right thing.” What’s best for us all? In fact. Not that.

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In fact, we live in a society where the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many. Yes, I’m talking to you, super-wealthy. However, they are not the only ones. We are all in this boat to one degree or another.

That said, as difficult as it is to fight for the betterment of all, our reluctance is tearing the world apart. And it’s evidenced by the erosion of social programs, like mental health/health care, housing, education… the list goes on and on…

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Hmmmm, all the programs that are good for the whole of a nation are either nonexistent or in such shambles that they seem to exist just so political leaders can put a tiny amount of money in them: “See – look what we are doing for you!” It’s BS.

So, what’s this got to do with mental-health awareness week? Well, in short, everything. How are you feeling mentally as a result of all this individualist chaos? I’m willing to bet the farm that you are at least feeling a low-level dose of anxiety; to most, a full-blown case of PTSD.

This, my fellow citizen of earth, is the reason I feel like mental-health awareness month is vitally important.

Good Mental Health equals a stronger world.

“Unity for all, for better mental health”

Jonathan Arenburg.

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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