Stacy-Ann Buchanan

As a Mental Health Advocate

As a Mental Health Advocate, and someone who has lived experience with anxiety, suicidal ideations, and depression – I am here to remind and (in some cases) educate you on the many deeply rooted stigmas of mental illness.

For almost two years, I mastered the art of pretending that I am okay, that I was living my best life, and that I am overall good. All of that facade and performance stemmed from my fear that I was the only one going through this, the fear of being ridiculed and that being a Black woman, my only option was to be “strong.”

May is mental health awareness month, and I am here to remind of a few factors;

◇ Sometimes, people smile when going through hell.

◇ Sometimes, people say, “I’m fine,” when they’re actually having a mental breakdown. Fun fact: “I’m fine” is the most told lie in the world.

◇ Sometimes, the ones who always seem to joke and make others laugh, do it because they know what it’s like to feel nothing.

◇ Sometimes, those who always seem to empower others in their low moments do it because they know what it’s like to feel worthless.

◇ Sometimes, those who seem like they’re the hardest workers, who work consistently and who uphold their responsibilities, do so only to collapse when they get home.

◇ Sometimes, the ones who always care for others do so because they know what
it’s like to struggle in silence.

More than often, a person who is struggling with mental illness has one major fear – the fear of being a burden. So if someone does reach out, please don’t dismiss them for attention seeking. You could be the safe space they have been wanting to have.

Be kind.


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