Talking About Mental Health Can Be Spooky

But it’s not as scary as not speaking up

Hope For The Day is ready for Halloween and if you haven’t stopped by Sip of Hope Coffee Bar in Logan Square this month, you’re missing out on some otherworldly decorations— and a chance to talk mental health. The coffee shop, which donates 100% of its proceeds to our proactive suicide prevention and mental health education programs, serves as a rallying point for our community to come together and break the silence of stigma.

IMG_3789.JPG

We know it can be scary opening up to others about what you’re going through and feeling, especially when there’s the threat of judgment and misunderstanding from peers. Unfortunately mental health stigma continues to be one of the greatest obstacles preventing individuals from speaking up about their mental health and utilizing resources. But stigma doesn’t have to haunt us.

The criminally insane, violent, out of control, asylum-bound stereotypes portrayed by the entertainment industry, usually around Halloween time, are outdated and misguided representations of mental health—and rest assured, today’s mental health care does not look like a horror film. The truth is, anyone can face a mental health challenge at any point, and the care of a therapist, counselor, or support group can greatly impact the quality of an individual’s life. Furthermore, a mental health diagnosis does not equate to the end of someone’s life.

IMG_3788.JPG

This Halloween let’s scare away stigma instead of being scared by it. Instead of putting on a mask and pretending everything’s Ok, let’s tell our family and friends about what’s really going on. Let’s teach one another that It’s Ok Not To Be Ok. We don’t have to hide our feelings or allow pressure to build without hope of an outlet. By speaking up about our personal mental health challenges and raising the visibility of resources, we can break the silence that prevents so many people from reaching out before crisis.

If you or a loved one has experienced or is experiencing a mental health challenge, please join the conversation and acquire mental health resources at HFTD.org or at Sip of Hope. We promise the scariest thing you’ll encounter at the coffee shop is the decor, so you can get stuck in a web, not your own head. Treat yourself to a chai and don’t trick yourself into believing you should put off seeking support. Mental health impacts everyone. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.


Sydni Budelier