One of the great difficulties of living with mental illness is the isolation. It’s vital to recognize the validity of your condition and to seek help, but if you are in the grips of, say, a debilitating depression, picking up the phone to call a friend or therapist may be like attempting to set your own broken arm. This is why online communities and social media platforms can be lifesavers. Today, we’re highlighting five of our favorite mental health Facebook pages, and we encourage you to visit and learn more.
Meredith Skrzypek Arthur started Beautiful Voyager in October of 2015 after being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She describes that diagnosis as “giving me the keys to my brain.” At last, there was a name for how she interacted with the world. Says Arthur, “I created this project to connect all of the beautiful voyagers out there who are just figuring out that stress, overthinking, and anxiety are affecting their lives.” If you’re looking for a community of anxious but intrepid brethren, go here to connect with them.
Broken Light Collective
A photography non-profit founded and run by Danielle Hark, Broken Light Collective’s mission is to provide a creative outlet for people affected by mental illness through therapeutic photography. On their website, you will find the works and stories of photographers of all levels who visually express their experiences with mental illness in a way that is both immediate and powerful. Anyone is welcome to submit. BLC stresses that art and photography are not a substitute for proper therapy and treatment, but the connection provided for those who often suffer alone or in silence is crucial. Find them here on Facebook.
Author Sarah Fader, who lives with panic disorder, created Stigma Fighters to combat the stereotypes and labels often applied to those who deal with mental illness. Their website publishes first-person accounts from people of all walks of life, giving a voice to stories that may otherwise go unheard. By allowing the mentally ill a platform to share their unvarnished truth, Stigma Fighters provides the framework for real, meaningful understanding. Go here to learn more.
The You Rock Foundation
This organization, founded by Joseph Penola, uses music to connect to those suffering from depression on a deeply emotional level. Artists and musicians from popular bands share their stories of mental illness in powerful videos and interviews. The message? You are not alone in your pain. There is help. There is community. There is a way forward. Anyone who has been moved by a song knows how music can be a solace. Find The You Rock Foundation here.
This Is My Brave
A theme in the mental health community is story-sharing, because often, connection and validation are the first, most vital steps a person can take toward help. Founder Jennifer Marshall brings live story-telling events to cities across the U.S. in which performers communicate their experiences with mental illness through poetry, essays, and original music. You can find videos on their Facebook page and learn how to help and/or participate by visiting their website. Says Marshall, “One day we will live in a world where we won’t have to call it ‘brave’ when talking about mental illness. We’ll just call it talking.”