What I love about the mental health community

What do I love about the mental health community? Well, many things, really. But what I love most is their compassion to help others.

What I love about the mental health community – updated Aug 11, 2022

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Over the last few decades, we as a society have become increasingly more divided. This is not a good thing. But despite this, there has been some good come out of it. One of the best examples I can think of is the fight for a fairer world for many disadvantaged people.

While the fight for equality is an amazing thing, there are so many groups that differences are bound to appear. Today, it’s not unusual to see one group get the recognition they deserve, while another’s voice will be stifled, even silenced. There is, after all, only so much airtime. Hello, mental health!

As if that weren’t enough, many areas of social concern have an element of “Mine’s worse than yours” attached to it. Furthermore, we seem to be trying to drown one another other out with this sentiment. Ironically, I feel this may be due in part to another disturbing trend, that of not being heard. We all need to be heard. Therefore, we all need to start listening.

How to listen to someone’s concerns.

Equally important is to never forget that everyone, regardless of who they are, not be dismissed. We are all living, feeling beings – therefore, are all worthy of kindness… In other words, the group I advocate for – mental health – does not give me license to systemically discount any other human. Nor does it give me a right to be hurtful and nasty.

On that front, I have only one more thing to say, “Compassion for all”.

“We can win the fight for equality but only if we unite round our common struggle.”

Jonathan Arenburg.

What I love about the Mental Health Community

So, here’s what I love about the mental-health community. In general, the advocates in the area of mental illness are more empathic of not only their cause, but also the plight of others. For example, I have never heard someone say, “My PTSD is worse than yours.” Nor have I seen someone use their illness as justification to minimize other groups attempting to improve their circumstance. In fact. in many cases, I have seen the opposite. We, the mentally ill, like to be kind.

But why? We are, for the most part both underserved and a vulnerable brunch. I think the answer is because we are both underserved and a vulnerable bunch. All in all, our pain and place in society gives us the power to understand.

With that said, can this be the only reason? Of course not. This is true because we all have reasons for our conditions. For example, People in the LBGTQ+ community have for years, had to hide who they are. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for them to experience depression. So, in short, people with mental illness always belong to some other group. We also run up against the same old stigma, the famous one-liners and the isolation.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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So, it makes sense to me that our illnesses can serve as our superpower to create a greater, more just world.

Ultimately, what I love about the mental-health community is the compassion we have for one another, and for people in general. For example, I have had so many people with PTSD, Depression, BDP and so on afford me the same empathy that they would people who have the same mental health condition… To them, I say thank you!

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Reginald-Nixon Arenburg (Born January 14, 1976) is a Canadian mental health blogger, speaker, and published author. Retired from the fire service and long-term care fields, he has written and self-published an autobiographical account of his life-long battle with anxiety, depression and more recently, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Titled, The Road To Mental Wellness, he wrote it for what he calls “therapeutic release.” He published it in hopes it would help others going through similar mental health conditions. The sales of The Road To Mental Wellness have been steady selling over 300 copies since its release on October 10, 2021(World Mental Health Day). Arenburg has also been involved in a collaborative publication Called Lemonade Stand Volume III, a book featuring 20 authors who bravely tell their stories of PTSD. All authors where from the military and or emergency services. Published by Joshua Rivedal and Kathleen Myers for the i’Mpossible project, a mental health advocacy organization. Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health podcasts including The Depression Files, A New Dawn, and The Above Ground Podcast Arenburg has also consulted with the Government of Nova Scotia and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Honorable Brian Comer and Candidates for the New Democratic Party of Canada, on improving the mental health care system in Canada. Additionally, Jonathan was recognized in The Nova Scotia Legislature by the Honorable, Chris Palmer, Kings-North MLA, for his Book, The Road To Mental Wellness, his fight to make the mental health care system better. In addition, Chis acknowledged the support he gives to others.

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