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My Mental Health Rant for 2021 ❗

My Mental Health Rant for 2021 ❗

The original angry bird.
The original angry bird.
This one is going to be raw.
It’s 2021, and we still treat mental health differently from physical health.
I encourage my employees to take care of themselves and their mental health, but I still notice that it’s easier to say you have a physical illness than a mental illness.
Mental illness still isn’t reported in the news like the complex, nuanced phenomenon that it is.
We can pick apart the countless flaws in a structural design of a building when it collapses–and rightfully so–but we can’t paint a complete picture when a man has a serious mental illness and ends up in jail because of it.
Why is this?
The easy answer is stigma.
The hard answer is, well, hard.
It’s people.
And behaviors.
And fearing what we don’t understand.
It’s the lack of certainty of what’s going on, in ourselves and in others.
It’s the buried understanding that each one of us could lose our mental health at any time.
The Western Medicine Magical Mindset has fully embraced physical health and the multitude of cures at our disposal, for better or worse.
But mental health is a different ball game.
Actually, it’s a sport where we haven’t even finished creating the rules yet.
So we send people with mental illness around the bases when we don’t know how many stops on the field there are yet, or if there’s even a way home.
So what do we do about our mental health nightmare?
I thought I could create change within the mental health system.
But then I started working mental health jobs, in community programs, in hospitals, in state government.
And what did I find?
That the system is broken everywhere.
Organizations don’t talk with one another.
People get sicker and sicker at unacceptably high rates.
So, after working at a major hospital on the east coast, I decided to just give it up and follow my heart.
I decided to leave the system.
Because I think the changes in the mental health system will come from the outside.
And it all starts with big ideas.
Now, I’m not saying that I have all the big ideas, but I have some.
Start with public education.
Make information meaningful and accessible.
Meet people where they are.
Don’t talk down to them.
That’s what I do with The Mental Health Update.
There are now over 1300 people who read this newsletter.
The Mental Health Update website gets 20,000 visitors a month.
I’m not sure what the end goal is yet, but I know that this information is needed.
Honest, helpful information.
Information that invites people to start a conversation.
When my mom stopped sleeping and exhibited scary behaviors in 2009, I had no idea what to do.
When I stopped sleeping and was was seriously depressed in 2014, I had a better idea of what to do.
But I still struggled to get the care I needed.
Now I know everything starts with easy access to practical information.
So that’s what I’m doing here–trying to shift the world one word at a time.
I appreciate you reading this. If you have anything to share with me, please reply and let me know. We have to do this together.
Have a good end to your week. Be kind to yourself. You’re doing your best.
P.S. This was inspired by a rant I wrote in 2020 about mental health stigma. While different in nature than this one, it adheres to the belief that it’s OK to passionately state the change we want to see in this world.
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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update Mental Health Newsletter provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

This is different from typical mental health newsletters and articles about mental health challenges.

It's not just an Anxiety Email Newsletter or a Depression Email Newsletter - It's two weekly articles packed with timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

I was tired of other "mental health care" newsletters blasting out generic lists of links and depression articles.

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"Jordan's mental health update is a welcomed email in my inbox. It often provides me with a chance to break from the mundane tasks of working in an office and take a moment for myself to hear his thoughtful and well put together thoughts on many aspects of mental health. As someone who works in the psychology field it's often a nice reminder and way of grounding myself to all the great work that's going on and the journey we all must take in supporting mental health. Thank you Jordan!" - Rob

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