Photos Courtesy of Alicia Powell
Along with the rest of the world, I was heartbroken to find out about the devastating event that happened earlier this week. Kate Spade was an individual whose brand and designs I loved and admired. Kate Spade seamlessly breathed a “chic” and polished air of femininity into each and every one of her designs. Her prestigious and world-renowned brand inspired me, and helped to ignite my avid desire to create a brand of my own. For this Therapy Thursday blog post, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the gift that is Kate Spade, and to briefly pause to review the impact and importance of mental health awareness in our society today.
During my high school years, I remember passing by the windows of the Kate Spade store at the Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan. Time and time again, I found myself being lured towards the aesthetically pleasing displays that lay within. The classic and “tradition-meets-modern” dresses, blouses, and handbags would effect me in such a way that I would puff out my chest and think to myself, ‘I am glad to be a woman!’ From the bright metallic gold polka dots that graced the front and back covers of my Kate Spade daily planner and folders; to the pristine black and white stripes placed neatly on Kate Spade purses and accessories; to the sleeveless cocktail and knee-length dresses revealing a simple, monochromatic greens, blues, and pinks…her influence cannot be denied nor doubted.
As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Michigan, and also a National Certified Counselor (NCC), I am a strong advocate for mental health awareness and breaking stigmas surrounding mental health. Experiencing challenges with anxiety, depression, or other mental health difficulties is nothing to be ashamed of. It is important for individuals to nurture and take care of themselves not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
If you are like me, when I start to feel a tickle in my throat, I try to “tough it out”. I will be mindful to get extra sleep, drink a lot of water, and load up on the Vitamin C packed foods (i.e. red and yellow peppers, oranges, strawberries). Most of the time, this works like a charm and I am on my way to feeling fully restored and better than new. When the tickle doesn’t go away after a period of time, I may consult with my physician for assistance. We need to be the same way with our mental health. Do not be afraid to consult outside help (i.e. a licensed and credentialed mental health therapist or practitioner) to provide you with the support you need, if doing it alone is just not working. Psychology today is a good resource to look up therapists eager and willing to help in your area. Here is my Psychology Today Profile.
I also wanted to take a moment to share with you some resources and information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) “The lifeline is free, confidential, and always available”.
Suicide Warning Signs:
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
It is important that we are all mindful of these warning signs, and the resources that are available to individuals at risk of suicide. Increasing awareness of the importance of mental health; and reducing the stigma surrounding mental challenges will greatly help so people do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek support when needed. If you have any questions, please let me know.
“A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words”
Lastly, I came across this quote that I wanted to leave you all with: “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think and loved more than you know.” — Christopher Robin, A.A. Milne
Remember this always!