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With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought I would share a personal story….

My mother-in-law took her life in October 2000. My husband and I had only been married for a year and a ½. She was recovering from breast cancer  – a survivor to say the very least. She was a fighter and such a beautiful person inside and out. She and my father-in-law lived in Avon, CT. It was a Saturday morning, and my husband was out getting his haircut and our breakfast – and then that awful call that changed our lives forever came. I will never forget my husband’s face when I told him.

We were supposed to visit her the following weekend. I had just spoken to her the day before, and she was so looking forward to our visit.

Still to this very day, I ask “Why?”

Matt and I were not open at all about discussing how she passed … really only with family and very close friends … as there was such a stigma attached to so much we were dealing with. That since has changed and we (and both our boys) all feel so strongly about the importance of mental health, and we believe our openness can only help others.

Check in on your family and friends. More than just once in a while. Sometimes there are no signs to someone struggling – fake smiling can be so easy for someone wanting to hide … just be present, listen and have them feel your desire to just be with them – even if there is nothing but silence.

Our mental health is a top priority. YOU are a top priority.

“Mental health is not a destination … but a process …”

REMEMBER: It is okay to make mistakes … to have bad days … to be less than perfect … to do what is best for you … to simply be yourself. Give yourself the same love and care and healing and attention that you give to others.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://afsp.org/

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 

Crisis Text Line, text TALK to 741741

Thank you for listening.

by Megan Forgie, HealthEase Wellness Specialist