Today is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and we would like to highlight Chiara de Blasio, daughter of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who was honored in Washington for opening up about her struggles with depression and addiction. In a candid essay she published on xojane last Tuesday, May 6, she wrote,
I had an amazing, unconditionally loving, and unbroken family. I went to good schools. I lived in a beautiful neighborhood. So why, then, did I always feel empty? I was surrounded by love, but I always felt less-than, out-of-place, restless, irritable, and discontent. Perhaps you’re reading this and thinking that I was simply ungrateful. Yes, I was. But a lack of gratitude wasn’t my only problem. I was the problem. I was not born a happy person.
Some people believe that it is impossible for people who come from backgrounds like mine to suffer from the diseases of depression and addiction. They may believe that we don’t appreciate what we have, make bad decisions, and/or have some sort of moral deficiency. I am here to tell you that that is not true — 10 percent external conditions. Mental illness does not discriminate. However, that does not mean that there isn’t hope for each and every one of us.
May is Mental Health Month. This year’s theme is “Mind Your Health.” Please check out this calendar for suggestions on how to celebrate this month and its theme, or consider joining Chiara de Blasio in helping to end stigma around mental health issues by speaking out here about your own journey with mental health challenges.
One way to honor the month is this week’s Massachusetts NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) Walk for Mental Health Awareness. Boston MindCare will be there! Please join or support the walk this Saturday, May 10 or support a NAMI walk near you.
Photo source: namiwalks.org