Sunday, August 31, 2014

Authors, Bloggers & Readers Raise Awareness of Mental Health

I have a dirty little secret... 
and I want to shout it from the rooftop!
My medical records could be used to sink the Titanic! I was born with a heart defect, have a highly aggressive and rare form of rheumatoid arthritis, and have had 9 surgeries in my 33 years. I have made scheduling doctor's appointments an art form! None of that is news to anyone. What I want to talk about today is depression. I was first diagnosed with depression when I was sixteen years old. I have been on and off many different antidepressants over the years. Some days are good, others not so good. I experienced significant postpartum depression after both my pregnancies, and it wasn't until after my second pregnancy that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
When I was nineteen I attempted suicide. It wasn't a cry for help, I didn't leave a note or tell anyone what I was doing, I just did it. That I am still here today is a miracle. It took me over a year to recover from the damage that my body sustained from my attempt, and I vowed never to try to end my life again. I decided that since I had survived such a dedicated attempt, I must be here for a reason. In 2009, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15–24. In this age group, suicide accounted for 14.4 percent of all deaths in 2009. Suicide: A Major, Preventable Mental Health Problem.

I am a nurse, and have worked in healthcare for over 15 years. Education and understanding is incredibly important to me. I use my own experiences and diagnosis to help my patients understand that mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Just like many other illnesses, mental health disorders tend to run in families, and are often highly treatable. I strongly believe that opening up and talking about mental health is the first step towards acceptance, understanding and recovery.

Moving towards that goal, on Saturday, October 11th I am hosting a Facebook event.
Authors, Bloggers & Readers Raise Awareness of Mental Health  

"An online silent auction and party event to raise awareness and support for mental health issues that face families today. Proceeds will be donated to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)."

Although highly rated in the past, The DBSA Charity Navigator Rating has dropped recently, due to an increase in costs that isn't being met by current funding. This has resulted in a Program Expenses Growth drop of -21.0% that has had a significantly negative effect on their overall score.

You can sign up to host a time slot during event or donate to the silent auction!

**This is a silent auction. Google documents will be set up for each donated item, including images, descriptions and minimum bids (if applicable). Interested bidders will be able to update their bids during the entire event. A master list of items will be pinned to the top of the event for easy access. This will help keep the event itself open for games and guest hosts!**

A HUGE "Thank You" to Elena and Just ME prints & paper designs for the awesome rain themed event banner! Check out her work online. :D
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