Have you been personally affected by mental illness or a mental health concern?
Would you like to share your story of your experiences, challenges, treatments and successes?
If so, I would love to help you share your unique and personal story of hope.
I’ve been sharing such first-person accounts for some time now in my “Stories of Hope” series here on this blog. You will find dozens of true and inspiring stories of men and women from all over the world who are managing their mental health issues and who refuse to let mental illness define them as a person.
My guiding philosophy for these stories is this:
While I want to acknowledge the difficulties each person has gone through as part of their story, I also want to focus on the supports, strategies, therapies, or lifestyle changes that have been helpful and that have brought back some sense of hope. This doesn’t mean we would sugarcoat or minimize the challenges, just that I would hope to portray a balance between the rough times and the hope for a brighter future. My goal is for the stories to provide some inspiration to others to show that mental illness is not defining and that a fulfilling life can still be had while living with a mental health concern.
The stories are presented in a question-and-answer interview format. While I often customize some of the questions for each person, there is a core set of questions which are typically included:
1) Tell us about when you first started becoming aware of concerns related to your mental health. How did these issues continue to affect you and those around you before you sought treatment?
2) What was the turning point that led you to decide to seek help?
3) What has your treatment consisted of, and what have you found that has worked well for you?
4) How are things going for you now? What have you learned that has helped you stay positive and healthy?
5) (optional) Tell about your involvement in mental health advocacy activities and social media.
6) What would you like to say to encourage others who are still working on their journey of recovery?
If you choose you participate, you would send me your answers to these questions via email, along with a brief autobiographical paragraph and a photo. Then I’ll put together a preview page of the entire interview for your review. After we’ve both given it our stamp of approval, it will be published here on my blog.
So if you’re interested in sharing your story of hope, please contact me and we can get the process started.
I firmly believe no one can convey the experience of living with and managing a mental health issue better than the person with first-hand lived experience. I can share my perspectives on mental health concerns from a health care provider perspective, but I can’t convey what it’s like to personally live with this type of significant personal challenge.
I look forward to hearing from you and to collaborating with you to share your story of hope!
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