January 2019 — I’m Ok, You’re Ok?

January 2019 — I’m Ok, You’re Ok?

Introduction

It’s okay to be different. The purpose of this program is to discuss mental illness and emphasize that it is nothing to be afraid of.

Program Ideas/Activities

Remind the women that their mental health is just as important as their physical health.

Information About Mental Illness

Prepare an informational sheet giving the websites and hotline telephone numbers for the women to take home with them.

  • http://www.my-borderline-personality-disorder.com
    A website for those struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder. There are resources and a chat–room for those seeking someone to talk to.
  • https://www.imalive.org
    This online crisis network is the first network where 100% of its volunteers are trained and certified in crisis intervention. Chat with someone if you are in crisis or considering suicide.
  • https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
    This is a website that provides resources and learning tools on eating disorders. You can chat with someone about this issue.
  • http://www.proud2bme.org
    This website is for those who struggle with body image. Read stories and learn about different resources on coping.
  • http://www.ok2talk.org
    The goal of OK2TALK is to create a community for teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems. It encourages them to talk about what they’re experiencing by sharing their personal stories.
Hotline numbers to call in crisis:
Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center1-888-694-2273
National Suicide Prevention Hotline1-800-273-8255
Disaster Distress Hotline1-800-985-5990
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders1-630-577-1330
National Crime Victim Helpline1-800-394-2255
National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-7223
National Eating Disorder Association Helpline1-800-931-2237
National Organization for Victim Assistance1-800-879-6682
National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-4673
Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous Nationwide Conference Call1-712-432-0075
Samaritan’s Crisis Hotline1-212-673-3000
Crisis Call Center1-800-273-8255

Online websites to find support groups:

  • www.afsp.orgAmerican Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • www.adaa.orgAnxiety and Depression Association of America
  • www.coda.orgCo-Dependents Anonymous (for those who struggle with low self-esteem)
  • www.dbsalliance.org — DBSA (Depression and Bi-polar Support Alliance)
  • www.emotionsanonymous.org — Emotions Anonymous (for those struggling with self–esteem issues, loneliness, and other destructive feelings)
  • www.anad.orgANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders)
  • www.healgrief.org Heal Grief (for those who are grieving)
  • www.iocdf.org — International OCD Foundation
  • www.sidran.orgSidran Institute (for those struggling with PTSD)

To download these helpful applications go to the Apps Store on your phone.

  •  ThinkUp (This allows you to build your own self–improvement program using positive affirmations recorded using your voice. This technique has been proven to make our minds work for us.)
  •  7 Cups (This allows people in emotional distress to connect with trained listeners for free, while completing a program track picked specifically for them.)
  •  MoodTrek (This allows you to track your moods and to be able to see any patterns and learn from them.)
  • Happify (This application provides fun science–based activities and games to elevate happiness; choose a personalized happiness track created by experts; reduce stress and anxiety through guided relaxation/meditation; gain insights and track progress over time, and train your brain to overcome negative thoughts.)
  • SAM (This allows people to record their anxiety levels. It includes 25 self–help options to help users cope with their anxiety. Users can also create a personalized anxiety toolkit.)

It’s Ok to Be Different

I remember the moment when my therapist said, “That’s enough. You need to see a psychiatrist. You need medicine to help you with your depression.” Never had I felt weaker, more lost, or broken than on that day. I thought I had a lost the battle with myself because I needed medicine to cope with everyday life. It was terrifying to think that I was different and thus wouldn’t be accepted.

Looking back, I realize that this was the beginning of a transformation and real change in my life. I’m still on the journey of discovering myself and finding out that having depression or a mental illness does not mean I am strange or unlovable. God wired me differently, and that’s okay. He loves and accepts me and wants me to be the best I can be.

Many times, we feel different than others in the world around us. We feel we are alone, outside the norm. It doesn’t take a mental illness to have these feelings. But we can have the assurance that God is always by our side, ready to take our hands when we reach out for Him. He is faithful. He is our Comfort in times of loneliness and sadness. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

The next time you feel that you’re different, remember that God made you unique and that’s perfectly okay. Let’s also remember that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. We need to pray for those who fight that battle daily. Let us educate ourselves on these matters and educate our children and those around us. Let us demonstrate the love of Christ to those who feel like they are too different to be accepted. Together, we can change the stigma of mental illness and help those who are struggling with it never to feel alone.

 

 

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