Today I am going to take a moment and introduce you to a few sites that are new to me and may be unknown to you. Each focuses on mental health and provides support to sufferers. Additionally, each gives the sufferer an opportunity to share his or her story.
This is a newer site founded by Michael Landsberg. Everything you need to know about the site is contained in these taglines:
- A WEBSITE OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE
- SICKNOTWEAK IS A COMMUNITY – A MOVEMENT
The site is about your mental health and gives you ample opportunity to participate in it. You are invited to participate as a volunteer. If you choose to do this, you are directed to a page describing the various ways in which you can volunteer including the opportunity to submit your story.
Speaking for myself, I believe that the opportunity to share my story by blogging, tweeting and guest-writing for other sites, is extremely liberating and has greatly enhanced my recovery. I invite you to experience this for yourself.
If you are in distress, you can find help through the SickNotWeak chat service which is moderated by trained lived-experience peer support facilitators. If you are in crisis and need more help than the chat service can provide, there is a link to professional services that can help.
The site is growing. It is vibrant and energetic. Best of all, you will find that you are not alone, that you are worthy of life and compassion and kindness. On SickNotWeak you will receive all of this, and more.
Another new site, it bears the tagline “Helping End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health”. Each of us has faced, and may be facing, stigma in many forms. The site operates on the premise that the way to combat stigma is to educate. Education comes from those with lived experience who volunteer to share their stories. Again, sharing your story can be liberating and enhance your recovery. But not everyone is ready to do this. That’s where this sites best feature comes into play. The menu for the site includes a link to a mental health forum. Here, those with lived experience can share their stories and discuss the issues important to them in an atmosphere that is safe, compassionate and non-judgemental. Be aware that the site is very new and is growing. Approach it with an open mind and a willingness to participate and help it grow into a site we can all be proud of.
This site is quite new to me although it has been in place since June 2014.
Bearing the tagline “Real People Living With Mental Illness”, it has two features that are especially of interest to me. Along the top menu, there is a “contribute” button that invites you to share your story of recovery.
As well as being liberating to share a life-story, it can be liberating to read one. If you doubt this, simply scroll down the home page to discover the second feature I love, recent posts written by those with lived-experience. These stories are gripping, provoking and inspirational. They will tell you that you are not alone, that your experiences, while unique to you, are known to others and that there is hope. All you have to do is ask for it. It won’t surprise me to learn that after reading these posts you might decide to submit your own life-story.
These are just a few of the many sites hosted by mental health advocates like us. If you know of other sites that I, and readers, may not know of, please share them in the comments.