Am I Glorifying Mental Health?
I recently launched Blossom, The Project, an initiative I started in order to help those with mental health illnesses find the support they need during the currently ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside this website, in which I will continue to post more about resources that people can obtain, I've also started an Instagram account to reach a wider audience and share illustrations as well as words of encouragement that I have created. As toxic as people think social media may be, there is actually a vast amount of accounts dedicated to raising mental health awareness and I've had the opportunity to connect with many of these accounts in order to learn more about their mission and purpose behind their projects.
Much like the account that I created, many of these mental health pages share aesthetically pleasing illustrations alongside words or quotes and target audiences of all ages. But one thing I've become rather cautious about is the idea of "glorifying" or even "commercializing" mental health.
I am very much aware that the topic of mental illness is incredibly complex and it is not something that one initiative will be able to throughly address. I also understand that there are so many layers to mental health that need to be brought to light and there is no right way to tackle the stigma. The reality of having a mental illness is that it is dark, it is scary, it is full of uncertainty and an endless feeling of hopelessness. My own experience with depression has been so painful at times, and I am not scared to admit this. That being said, just because the illness itself is so dark, I do not think that the discussions we have and the way we choose to promote mental health awareness must also be the same way. If anything, our aim as mental health advocates is not to minimize the severity of mental health, but instead to be a source of positivity in your day to day life that can be so draining and difficult.
As long as there is one person that can feel heard or supported, that is all that matters to me. My aim throughout this project, and frankly everything I do in life, is not meant to reach perfection, but to reach progress.
Progress, not perfection.