May is Mental Health Month

Is there a reason that any 31 (or 30 or 28) days of the year should be any more important than the 334 (or 335 or 337) others to celebrate and promote a certain cause?  No.

Does a catchy phrase, vibrant color, or ribbon bring more attention to said cause?  Yes.

There are certain causes that should be mainstream knowledge, part of the collective consciousness of our society, but are not.  That, I suppose, is where car magnets, PSAs on cereal boxes, and fundraisers come in.  And that is why I’m challenging myself this month to raise awareness about a silently insidious disease, disorder, condition.

Mental Health.

Just as autism’s umbrella has opened wide to shelter a great number of conditions, so has mental health become an amoeba wriggling its hulking mass into more and more areas.

And it’s the amoeba in the corner of the room that no one is talking about.

I came across the blog, A Canvas of the Minds, a few months ago.  They have many thought-provoking posts written by a talented cross-section of writers.  Their initiative, Blogging for Mental Health 2013, is a brilliant idea.  blogformentalhealth20131I so wanted to join in the challenge and proudly post their badge on my blog, but I felt I didn’t quite fit the mold.  Their network is of blogs dedicated to discussing mental health issues.  Mine is about chopping potatoes and motherhood.  The way I navigate daily life and motherhood is shaped by the state of my mental health, but that would not be the main focus of each and every entry.

But I want to salute them and their initiative.  And I encourage you to join them in their quest to make mental health something people are not afraid to talk about.  Worrying about how other people see us should not be one more challenge we need to face as we struggle to make life livable.



Leave a comment


  1. You are absolutely incredible, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am very open discussing my own mental illnesses, but most people don’t feel safe or comfortable doing so. Moreover, even some of the people who give me the best support in my own struggles (friends and family) seem to just look away and pretend mental health, as a whole, isn’t an issue or doesn’t need to be talked about – even when I directly ask it of them to do something so simple as sharing our site with others who may need it.

    So to come across this and you. . . Lady, you are a rarity, and a wonderful voice for the change we need. Thank you again so very, very much!


  2. Jennifer,
    Your metaphor of the amoeba wriggling in the corner that no one wants to talk about or acknowledge, is spot on.

    My personal experience, on all sides and perspectives, has been that it’s easier to criticize untoward behavior and those who think and react differently, and label them with unpleasant, dismissive, and denigrating names, labels and terms , rather than consider what may lie beneath the surface. It objectifies and distances, creating insulation for those uncomfortable or unwilling to scratch beneath that surface behavior.

    Even though it may not be the focal point of your writing, it probably shapes many aspects of your life and interactions with others. So, even if you don’t write more than this single post about the issue, you fit, you belong, and the “badge” is yours to wear, the flag is yours to wave. Awareness, isn’t just about proclaiming something from the rooftops, it’s also about how we live out, in quiet intentionality, our own awareness in out interactions with others and with ourselves.

    Thank you for writing this.



    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  May 3, 2013

      Kina, wow! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thought-provoking words.

      “creating insulation for those uncomfortable” – so true.

      “Awareness, isn’t just about proclaiming something from the rooftops, it’s also about how we live out, in quiet intentionality, our own awareness in our interactions with others and with ourselves.” – beautiful. If only everyone would live this way.


      • Jennifer,
        It’s a new way of thinking and living for me, but I’m learning and getting better at it.



  1. God Loves those Who are Struggle with Mental Health | Incredibly Good News
  2. EVER the Twain Shall Meet | A Canvas Of The Minds

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