Consultant/Lecturer/Radio Host Gerry McDaniel Talks #Mentalhealth, Stigma (& what The Bible says about it)

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Hi lovelies, happy new week! For today’s #MentalHealthMonday post I’m happy to share with you a very insightful message I received by way of a WhatsApp broadcast that was forwarded to me by a friend, and a short interview with its author, Gerard ‘Gerry’ McDaniel— lecturer, consultant and host and producer of RJR 94 FM’s Palav programme. The message contains wise words (his own perspective) on mental health, the stigma around mental illnesses (and how nonsensical it is) and, most interestingly, what The Bible has to say about it all — I was happy to see it’s quite a bit.

Since he’s a Christian, I found his take on the matter particularly enlightening and refreshing, considering that many other Christians do not share the same sentiments and, due to ignorance, discredit mental illness. Some are known for telling challenged individuals to simply ‘pray harder’ and step up their faith, so his thoughts were a welcome difference. Scroll down to read the excerpt and get acquainted with the wise man who said it all. At the very least, I think you’ll find it interesting too.

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#itsokayJA Mental Health support group (Jamaica)

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6 illustrations that tackle mental health x stigma brilliantly #MHAW15 #IAMStigmaFree

Greetings! Man, what a week!

I should have already done two more blog posts by now as my own personal contribution to raising awareness about mental health matters, seeing that it’s World Mental Health Week, but alas. It hasn’t exactly been a clean bill of mental health for me, so I can only do the remaining two (a very touching re-blog is coming tomorrow, stay tuned). Today’s post takes a more light-hearted approach to bring the message across as many people feel uncomfortable discussing or reading about this subject, and having shared my own experiences ad nauseum,  I know it can be quite heavy sometimes.

Anyway, unless you have a heart of stone, these illustrations should help you to assess the way that you view and interact with mentally ill people, maybe even affect your general stance on mental illnesses. They’re as entertaining as they are effective, which is exactly why we’re going for childlike simplicity today… you’re welcome.  Read on for helpful, insightful tips and stories too.

Louis-Wain-Cats-mental-illness-schizophrenia

Louis Wain is one of my favourite artists. He was born in 1860 in Victorian England and made a name for himself as an illustrator depicting cats in real-life situations. He was also schizophrenic – spending years at a time in asylums, during which time he continued to create. It’s believed that as his perception of reality grew more distorted, so too did his pictures of #cats (pictured above is a supposed progression of cats as his condition worsened).  NOTE: Schizophrenia is a serious disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary; may be unresponsive or withdrawn; and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations. Contrary to public perception, schizophrenia is not split personality or multiple personality. The vast majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent and do not pose a danger to others.

I really like this one below. You can also read this article for a deeper understanding of why it can be insensitive and offensive to use mental disorders as adjectives.

mental-disorders-comic

Many of us are guilty of this, sometimes I am too, nobody is perfect… but let’s try to be more understanding and refrain from using these terms casually in the future.

mental-disorders-comic

Me this week. Hello, palpitations. Hey there insomnia!

This couldn’t be more perfect. It is EXACTLY what I experience. View the entire comic here on Collective Evolution.

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Anxiety (left), depression (right) and oh, hey who’s that little girl in the middle? She looks a lot like me.

All.of.this.

Don't you just love when truth karate chops you in the face?

Don’t you just love when truth karate chops you in the face?

In case you didn’t get it, the illustration above and making any one of these bullshit pronouncements is a really good example of how we perpetuate the stigma around mental illnesses. Try the approach below instead, I know it works for me. Note: May require multiple attempts.

Depression-comic-Derron-Brown

Don’t judge, don’t say stupid stigmatising shit, just try being a goddamn friend. It’s simple and it works. #endthestigma #bethelight #showlove #mentalhealthmatters

And now, for those links I promised… happy weekend, by the way!

Sometimes, whether for financial or other reasons you’ll need to take care of own mental health and stress. To do therapy on yourself, try Jessica Thompson’s 5 psychologist-recommended tips.

Worried someone you love is at risk of committing suicide? Here’s how to handle it fast.

Ever heard someone’s story and wondered, but he/she is so awesome why would they want to commit suicide? Unfortunately, that’s a part of the stigma. Mental illnesses don’t discriminate, anyone can have them… just ask the amazingly hot Aisha Thalia… she knows.

If you’re struggling with your mental health or even just need a mood boosting shot, you’ve got to hear this beautiful India.Arie song. Thank me later.

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