Last month was Mental Health Awareness month so there was a lot of talk about mental health, everywhere. Many influencers were helping raise awareness on this important topic encouraging others to become more vocal about mental illness whether it affects them personally or a loved one.

A few months back Mariah Carey even expressed her own dealings with Bipolar Disorder. For many years she has been battling this debilitating illness away from her public persona and is finally at a point in her life where she cannot remain silent.

Many women feel just like Mariah Carey and struggle with mental illness privately, especially women of color. Away from their own public persona of the “strong black women”. As women we feel like we have to have it all together, we are responsible for others as mothers, sisters, girlfriends or wives.

That when it comes to managing our health, especially our mental health we can sometimes put it off to the side and find better things to do with our time.

Even if you are not struggling with mental illness, you may often get filled with anxiety, stress and become overwhelmed with the many things going on in your everyday life. You find no time for yourself and you must keep pushing for yourself and others every single day.

As women of color it’s important to understand we are not alone in this fight. Many women of color face mental health problems and do not know how much help is out there to make it just a little easier. We have to take it slowly, one day at a time but it’s also important to acknowledge when things are becoming just a bit unmanageable and when it’s time to seek help.

Mental health disorders usually pass the norm, they can affect our everyday life in many ways and when they become overwhelming that is when they are considered a medical condition that can be addressed better with the help of professionals.

These conditions can sometimes make it hard to function as well as you use to and it’s important to seek help when you find yourself not functioning as well as you may have in the past. Without the proper treatment mental health problems can become even more unbearable and harder to manage.

Always remember that these are biological brain disorders and that they can get better with time but the longer you prolong getting the right help it will become an unnecessary weight on your shoulder. As women of color we must show a brave face and handle our business but if that means seeking professional help then we must not hesitate in doing so.

Recent studies have shown that people of color are 20% more likely to develop serious mental health disorders due to our needs not being met, limited health insurance and many barriers we face as a population. New mothers tend to be at a higher risk being diagnosed with postpartum depression two to three times more than any other women amongst minorities.

In African Americans communities there seems to be lack of information and misunderstanding about mental health disorders. There is a lot of shame and guilt attributed to struggling with a mental health condition that creates a lot of stigma for women who may be seeking treatment. Yet there are women out there who are creating awareness on this topic.

In 2015 Michelle Obama announced Change Direction campaign a mental health initiative created to help break the stigma with mental illness and echo President Obama’s call “to bring mental illness out of the shadows”. This initiative was directed towards educators to teach and educate students that “it’s ok to talk about mental health” and that there’s hope after a diagnosis. Mariah Carey has also become vocal about her struggles with Bipolar Disorder.

For the first time in her career, in an interview with People magazine, she admits to her battle with Bipolar Disorder. She was first diagnosed back in 2001 when she was hospitalized for a physical breakdown. “I didn’t want to believe it” she said. Until recently she hadn’t received treatment which lead her to carry a great burden and she simply could not do it anymore.

She feared being exposed for many years and preferred isolating herself through tough times. After receiving treatment she has finally gotten back to doing what she enjoys most writing songs and making music. Another outspoken advocate is New York’s first lady Chirlane McCray who told the audience at the National Action Network Convention “we all deal with mental illness, but we don’t talk about it”.

The session was filled that day to capacity in one of her many attempts to start a conversation about mental health. McCray often sounds passionate, encouraging audiences to share how mental illness personally impacts them. McCray also partnered with Sisters Thrive, which promotes mental health training and literacy in Black communities.

“I look forward to working with these trailblazers and activist, who are so deeply committed to service in their communities” she said about Sisters Thrive. She reminded the people at the event that NYC has a number that you can call or text if you or anyone is having a mental health or substance abuse crisis. Her passionate spirit in creating awareness and breaking the stigma in mental health makes me feel so supported.

That these amazing women of color, using their position are standing by other women who are having a hard time dealing with the everyday struggles of having mental illness. Whether they experience mental illness or not they fight using their means available to them and stand up for us in a position of less power.

Yet we all have a voice, we all have our cross to bear, so start by making a difference in your own life. There are local resources available to you in your community that can help you address most mental health concerns. Support found in your community will make the difference and acknowledgement of your mental health disorder can only become a catalyst to getting better.

Seeking help does not make you weaker in fact it will give you the appropriate tools to move ahead in life more abundantly. A mental health diagnosis is not the end of the world but surely the beginning of a new life with hope for what the future may bring. Having a positive outlook on being mentally stronger and stable will help you move forward in ways you never thought possible.

There is hope for those who struggle with mental illness, you can recover and live a life even better than the one you had before you accepted your diagnosis. Talking to a mental health professional can start the beginning of something positive in your life.

As a woman of color who happens to also struggle with mental illness I have dedicated my writing to those who may not see the brighter picture. For those amazing people who don’t know their worth and who don’t know they have a beautiful life worth living.

Especially when you comply with your mental health treatment and simply hope for a better next day in spite of the hardship in today. I hope this article can help you see that coming to terms with your mental health concerns is one step closer to living a more fulfilling life. That your only limitations are the ones you set for yourself by hiding in the guilt and shame of having mental health problems.

Remember a life with mental clarity and stability is a life worth living, so do not deprive yourself of having the life you wish. Working step by step is a challenge that is worth taking on everyday even when it’s good or when it’s bad, your mental health is surely worth it!

Author's Bio: 

This article is about how many women are using there public persona to raise awareness on mental health!

May the readers be blessed Thanks!!!