Mental Health Awareness

By: Joseph Green

[May was] Mental Health Awareness Month. This is also the month that my life changed forever. On May 29, 2007 I was falsely accused of a crime I did not commit. As a man who not only has dealt with and battled mental illness but who has also seen family and friends battle mental illness. I wanted to use my platform to bring awareness to the importance of mental health care. This month is meant to help destigmatize mental illness. At some point in our lives and for many reasons we all have battled some form of mental illness. Be it depression, anxiety or bipolar to name a few.

For years I have battled depression PTSD, and anxiety. I first experienced depression and anxiety when I was falsely accused and charged with a murder I did not commit. I know it’s not common to hear a man in prison speak so candid and be vulnerable about his mental status. In this moment I wanted to put away my pride to help remove the stigma. You never know who you may inspire with your story.

In 2013 my depression and anxiety got so bad that I thought about ending it all. I knew I needed help. I went and sought help from a doctor and found that it helped me to speak about my thoughts and emotions. I rely solely on my spiritual foundation and the tools given to me. I listen to music. I write and I meditate. I also allow my family and friends to be my support system.

I wanted to share my story in hopes of helping others. Please do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to speak to someone if you’re experiencing tough and dark days. Please don’t be afraid or too busy to help someone else. If you’re battling mental illness I want to strongly encourage you to seek help. No one is perfect and life isn’t perfect. We can’t allow the bad times to keep us down. My life was turned upside down and will never be same. However my perspective creates my reality and I see this as a blessing. My mental is stronger and better. This pandemic has affected so many of us, let’s remember that in these times we are tougher together then apart. Thank you for your time! 🙂



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