While we are certainly moving in the right direction with mental health, stigma remains evident in our places of work and communities.
Learning about various mental health issues from a book or a workshop is a great start, but do you know what’s even better? Hearing someone’s story.
The number one way to remove stigma is
by sharing our stories.
Many of us are good at wearing a mask and pretending that we have it all together. I get it. It’s difficult to be vulnerable and share our inner battles with those around us. However, this is an important step not only for ourselves, but for those around us.
When you share your story it reminds people that beneath the surface we are all the same. This is especially important for men who often have an internal war over their own ideas of what it means to “be a man”.
For me, the best gift that came from my latest book MENtal Health: It’s Time to Talk was the number of men who read the book and told me that for the first time they felt like someone truly understood them. They could hear their own story through the other men’s experiences. Finally, they were not alone.
Hearing others be vulnerable and share their story can motivate others to do the same. Talking openly about your mistakes, pain, and triumphs speaks to what it means to be human.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy is when someone leaves this world with their story still untold.
There is a good chance that someone needs to hear your story
just as much as your soul needs to express it.
Your experiences can be of great assistance for someone who is facing a similar challenge, and it provides them with the comfort that they are not alone.
Keep talking my friends. Your story is one of the most powerful things you have.