http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?Section=Standing_with_Her_in_the_Rain1

Hello Friends,

At church this morning, our Pastor spoke about the movie “A Brilliant Mind” – It was a great sermon, and afterwards I shared with him about Mental Health Awareness Month, and about this article I’d just read which I think challenges churches to look for ways to reach out and accept those with a mental illness. My intention was just to send him the link to the article as promised, but I found myself writing more, which prompted me to to reach out… and share it with each of you as well. Feel free to share with others as you feel led.

The above link will take you to a story I personally found very touching. You may, or may not be aware that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Most people today know someone who’s been diagnosed with a mental illness. This could be anything ranging from depression, to schizophrenia and variations of many other disorders as well. Because of the stigma associated with having a mental illness, many do not seek help, or are afraid to share such a diagnosis with others.

There are many organizations today working to wipe out the stigma associated with having a mental illness. Glenn Close and Ron Howard have developed a series of Public Service Announcements which can be viewed at http://www.bringchange2mind.org Each one of them tell a different story. Perhaps one of those stories strike a chord within regarding that of a person you know. Perhaps that person described is yourself.

As a person who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, I found only one problem with the videos. The T-shirts worn by those who suffer bear only the name of their diagnosis. I once had a therapist who gave me a different viewpoint. One that made perfect sense…

If a person is diagnosed with cancer, are they labeled as cancer? Of course not. Many persons today who are diagnosed with a mental illness on the other hand, are labeled as their illness. This is where the stigma starts. By seeing those diagnosed with a mental illness as their diagnosis rather than as a person first. I then was able to see myself in a different light.

I truly believe God designed our bodies in such a way that he knew what he was doing. I also believe that there is no part of the body which is exempt from some form of illness, including the brain.

Years ago I belonged to a Christian blogging community. I read several things on some of the blogs regarding psychology as a practice that was not something God would approve of. In response to these I found myself writing a poem titled “May I Have an Exemption Please?” The comments that I received though well intended questioned who I was praying to? who I was putting my faith in? and if I was praying correctly. The poem and my response are attached for your enjoyment.

I consider myself blessed to be able to encourage and inspire others in my present job because of what I’ve experienced, and because of the things I have learned along the way. I’m excited at the doors that have been opened to me because of my willingness to share those pieces of my life.

This Thursday May 6th the company I work for is having it’s annual fundraising gala. It’s a night to celebrate the milestones that our mental health community has made, and to raise funds to support more programs, reach more people, impact more lives, etc….. You can find out more information on this event by going to http://www.smh.org

On May 15, 2010 NAMI will be having it’s annual walk… I would love it if you participated in whatever way you feel comfortable…. See the following for info on the NAMI Walk!
www.nami.org/namiwalks10/SEA/suebsingin

Have a Fantastic Day!
Hugs,
©Sue Anderson, All Rights Reserved 2010 – 2011
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

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