First off I want to go ahead and give a trigger warning. This post is definitely not my usual, and it is non-book related. This being said, I do discuss mental illnesses and suicide in this post. Please be aware of this and do not continue if you feel like this may harm your mental state. All love ♥
I don’t talk about this on this blog because I feel like it’s a tougher, dark topic, but I feel like for this cause, I’ll give it a shot.
Mental health is important. I think (though I’m sure I could be wrong) that everyone has been impacted in their lives by mental illness, whether they struggle with it or someone they love struggles with it. It’s a hard thing to deal with, but it’s a battle that a lot of us will fight long term. I say ‘us’ because I too struggle with mental illness. In addition to several family members struggling with some type of mental illness, I also have PTSD, very severe anxiety triggered by my PTSD, and major depression. This feels like such a dark and honestly wrong thing to bring onto this blog that I try to maintain in a very bright, happy attitude, but you know what? It’s real. I can’t apologize for it because it’s my life and I’ve been working on not being ashamed of it for a really long time.
Everyone I know has been touched by mental illness somehow. This includes my best friend, Kara. While she is not diagnosed with any illnesses, her brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Though there is a huge stigma around all mental illnesses, this is one that has an even worse reputation. The stereotype for schizophrenia is “crazy”. But here’s the thing: Dakota wasn’t “crazy”. He was just sick, fighting with his own brain. Unfortunately, he lost his fight. Dakota died on September 2nd, 2017 from suicide.
Losing Dakota was very difficult for his family. One of the hardest things that Kara struggled with was, “What could I have done different?”. But, unfortunately, we can’t change what has happened. We can only change was it going to happen.
So, Kara decided she wanted to do something to help others in need and raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. Because I am someone who has been greatly impacted by mental illness, as well as the stigma surrounding it, she has asked me to help her. Since the anniversary of Dakota’s death is fast approaching, she was unable to find a cooperating psychiatric center to donate to at this time (anyone familiar with these centers knows that the items that patients are able to have are very limited and it is a little more difficult than simply collecting and dropping off donations). However, upon research, she found a crisis center for struggling families and individuals that will be receiving all appropriate donations. The goal of this is not merely to assist those with illnesses, but to assist anyone in need of help. I am including the flyer below:
If anyone would be willing to donate any item on this list or even to just share this, it would be largely appreciated. Please remember that summer is flying by and soon we will back to a cold winter that can be very hard for those who have very little. We really want some light to enter into this dark situation and help others by giving what we can.
I know that a lot of you guys don’t live in the U.S. and that’s totally fine! If you would be so kind to even simply share the message, that would be amazing. I am also encouraging those of you who would like to support the effort from far away to donate in Dakota’s (or anyone you know who has battled with MI) honor to a shelter or organization near you that will also help those in need. If you do, please get a picture of the items you are donating or a picture of you on your way to donate! We would love to see those of you helping others as well.
If you are interested in donating, the address for the designated drop off is on the flyer, but you can also contact me privately for other details if need be!
I am attaching a link to the post made for this drive, which has been made public at this time. If you would simply like to share this post on your own blog, or reshare the Facebook post even, then you are doing your part and we appreciate you immensely. ♥
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this (very) non-book related post! This is a very important topic to me and I hope that you guys are able to share and maybe donate locally. ♥