Broken

It’s OK, to be a little broken

Everybody’s broken, in this life

Lyrics from a song Bon Jovi sang in his 2007 on his album Lost Highway. These words have been going through my head today. Earlier a friend (thanks Marinn) of mine retweeted a post on twitter. The post was a guy sharing about visiting a counselor. He wrote: “If people can post pics in the gym, working out, trying to get better, I can post a pic waiting for the counselor, trying to get better. #BoldHumility #RemoveTheStigma We can all get better. We all need help. It’s never too late.”

Lately I have been thinking about mental health and the way in which we can help the crisis in our country and specifically the epidemic for our children and our teens. I continue to hear of all the programs we should implement or what things we can toss at the issue. My mind keeps coming back to the idea of the culture surrounding the issue. If we merely put programs into place are we really changing anything?

We live in a culture where perfectionism is the standard and anything less is seen as not good enough. Social media has resulted in us seeing others with perfect lives which in reality are only created in the digital world, yet the impact on our self-worth and image is no different. We are surrounded by hate and ugliness towards others. Although we might give platitudes to those struggling with mental health issues and repost the suicide prevention lifeline, we make no changes to the ways in which we all continue to stigmatize mental health.

I am just as guilty as anyone. While I speak and give presentations on suicide prevention, stress, and anxiety, I do not fully disclose the full struggle of the darkest time of my life. I am not open about the darkness that encompassed me during a period of my life and I do not freely share that a counselor named Gail had a bigger impact on my well being than any medical doctor, or really any other person. I certainly don’t admit I don’t know where I would be without her walking me step by step to a time when I could find light. I don’t share and I should. I should so others know there is not something wrong with them if they struggle. I should share so others know it is ok to need help. I should share so others know we are all broken and many of us need help as we try to figure out how to take one more step.

I am convinced our mental health crisis in our country, state, community, and schools will not change until we have a culture change. That culture change is each of us looking in the mirror and realizing we each contribute to a culture where others feel they must hide their struggle instead of getting the help they need. We have to stop saying it is ok if others get help and admit the majority of us need help at times and there is nothing wrong with this fact.

Take a look around

Tell me what you see

Is who you think you are

Who you want to be

**Lyrics from Bon Jovi, Everybody’s Broken

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