Some days, it is easy to feel despair knowing the facts that too many people are unable or unwilling to access the services and supports they need to take even the first steps on their recovery journey. Not enough safe, decent, affordable homes. Limited resources to help people find and keep a job. The damaging knee jerk headlines and depictions in the media and entertainment of people with mental illness, born out of lack of education and awareness that leads to damaging self-stigma and discrimination. These are facts that are unfortunately very real in our current society. Some days, they seem so overwhelming that there is a helpless feeling that sits in your gut—what can I possibly do to make a difference?
And then there are the facts…
The facts that each one of us can make a difference in the lives of people who are affected by mental illness, by offering hope, giving an opportunity, making a real, human connection with someone, being the example of possibility and encouraging people to not give up. Our actions on these values make a difference—to those on their personal recovery journey, to families and friends who stand by those they love. They bolster the work of tireless advocates, the peers, therapists and others who are dedicated to helping people move from darkness to light.
The fact is, I can make a difference and be the Evidence…and so can you.