People can say what they want about the internet, but I love it. While it can consume too much of our time if we’re not careful, and sometimes prevent people from interacting in person, I feel like the internet has done more connecting people than it has separating them. It has made both staying in touch and getting back in touch with people easier than ever before.
That power to connect people doesn’t just begin and end with the people we know in real life. The internet has allowed us to build communities with people we’ve never met in person. Social media allows us to connect with many different groups based on our interests or our areas of need. Whether talking about a video game, an interesting hobby, or a mental health condition, it’s easy to find a group of people discussing it online — and most will gladly welcome you.
But what if the conversation regarding your personal issue isn’t happening? What if you see a need to shed light on a cause that isn’t getting enough attention? Well, then perhaps it’s time for you to start making noise.
Often, we don’t really make progress until somebody decides to speak up. When I look at the current landscape of the mental health discussion, there are a few people who come to mind as conversation changers. These are people who are willing to put their money where their mouths are to bring a fresh perspective to available tools, resources, and support for people with mental health issues.
Here are my top five people who are changing the conversation around mental health.
1. Margaux Joffe of Kaleidoscope Society
Margaux Joffe saw a need for more female voices after she was diagnosed with ADHD at age 29. She realized she didn’t see anyone talking about their experience with ADHD in a way that reflected her own. So, she founded Kaleidoscope Society, a site that amplifies the voice of women who are successfully combating ADHD and succeeding at life.
Society loves to tell us what we cannot do and who we cannot be, especially regarding mental health. Which is why representation matters, as it allows us to see people like us who share our struggles while excelling in ways that we hope to excel.
Margaux and Kaleidoscope Society are moving this conversation forward and showing that successful women and girls — who just so happen to have ADHD — do exist.
2. Casey Dixon of Mindfully ADD
Casey Dixon has been an ADHD coach since 2005. When we hear about ADHD, we often hear about people who are underachievers. Contrary to popular belief, it’s more than possible to succeed with ADHD.
The minds of people with ADHD work differently, and we have needs that can be better tailored toward us. Casey didn’t stop with coaching. She created Mindfully ADD, a site that provides mindfulness exercises specifically for the ADHD mind.
On a semi-regular basis, I tune into Mindfully ADD and grab a practice that I know will help me, whether I need to focus, gather up some strength to continue a task, or calm down after a long day. This is one of the places on the net that helps me stay sane.
3. Joy Bryant of Therapy for Black Girls
Speaking of representation, when you’re looking for a therapist, it can be really difficult to find one that relates to you. If you’re already feeling lost or frustrated, needing to explain racial dynamics to a person can be really exhausting.
Dr. Joy Bryant created Therapy for Black Girls. The website has a therapist directory, a set of resources, and an incredible podcast featuring black therapists speaking on a variety of topics.
I personally have spent several hours listening to her podcast. I cannot tell you how comforting it is to hear someone discuss mental health while being culturally competent. This is a place to let your hair down and be.
4. Melony Hill of Stronger Than My Struggles
Melony Hill of Stronger Than My Struggles has taken the mental health battle and turned it on its head.
She brings attention to dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. So many of these illnesses play together, and Melony brings a realness to the conversation where many gloss over the details.
Melony has inspired me to reframe the way that I look at mental health. Sometimes, you’ll find a lot of people talking about defeat when looking for mental health guidance. But in Melony’s world, the need to keep moving overpowers any mental or physical struggle.
5. Jasmin Pierre of The Safe Place
Many phone applications exist to help you manage your busy life, giving you resources to accomplish tasks throughout your day.
Jasmin Pierre has taken her personal struggle with depression and channeled that energy into The Safe Place, an application that focuses on minority mental health. The app connects you with projects and resources to help you get back on your feet.
The application is easy to understand and it’s great for anyone looking for a push in the right direction to begin healing their mental health issues. There are inspirational quotes, self-assessment questions, self-care tips, and more. Jasmin has made it as simple as possible to navigate the mental health world.
She has also inspired me to take my message of mental health awareness even further. It’s critical that we all lift our voices.
We need more mental health spaces, and we need them now. Every face and every voice must be represented in the struggle to combat the mental health crisis that will arise if we don’t pay attention.
For more information on how to manage ADHD, reach out to your doctor or healthcare team.
DEPR-US-NP-00044 NOVEMBER 2018