As we near the end of another year, the team at the “Mental Illness: It’s not always what you think” project would like to thank everyone for their support and collaboration over the past year and express our gratitude to work with such an incredible community.
In the spirit of gratitude, below are quotes from our Stop Stigma Speakers Bureau members on what they are grateful this year – for their mental health and beyond. We encourage everyone to take stock of what they are grateful for this holiday season and take the time to share with your friends and loved ones.
Speakers Bureau Member Michael J. Hansen
I am grateful for many things:
- Through the challenges of COVID, I have invested in my mental health with lots of self-care, meditation, communicating with friends, staying connected in my therapy and leading a more overall healthy life. Support from outside is important, but I’ve learned that my mental health is a job that starts with me and this year I’m proud of myself for doing well.
- My job in non-profit grant analysis, where I feel like I’m making a difference.
- My physical health, which allows me to pursue activities I love, like hiking, cycling and camping.
- A sunny day out and about with two of my three boys, Jonathan and Robert (photo above).
Speakers Bureau Member Abby Rotstein
It’s been such a long year. Here are a few things that I am grateful for:
- Friends, who send me the perfect gift out of the blue.
- My niece, who makes me laugh, smile, and act like a kid.
- The fact that even though the pandemic has been rough, I’ve been able to reach out and get therapy. I’m grateful for that care, and I hope everyone finds the support they need.
Speakers Bureau Member Bill Marr
I am grateful for:
- The air I breath each day
- The clothes on my back
- The shoes and socks on my feet
- The sense of smell
- The human experience as a whole
- I’m thankful for my anxiety! It allows me to have empathy and kindness towards complete strangers who are fighting the same mental health battle. It’s like going to a car show where you know people with your same interests will be hanging out. However, this time the one thing you all have in common is mental health.
- I’m thankful for Stop Stigma Sacramento. It allows people like me who’ve traveled further down the path of treatment to encourage and support those who haven’t yet started down that same path.
Speakers Bureau Member Laura Asay-Bemis
This year I am especially thankful for my friends, doctor, therapist, and former pastor, who have all listened and encouraged me during the difficult times of the holidays. I miss my biological family greatly. However, having supportive friends and doctors makes life so much easier to accept, and it helps me recognize that I am not alone.
Speakers Bureau Member Melanie Bowden
I am grateful:
- That I continued to get better this year at recognizing when my depression was coming on and then taking self-care steps during those bad bouts.
- For being done with a big move and the peace I feel when looking at the sky every day.
Speakers Bureau Member Nancy Alpert
I am grateful for the:
- COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Knowing I am protected has helped tremendously with my anxiety about getting sick.
- The love of my life. While he does not understand what it is like to have AD/HD, he quietly follows behind me and makes sure everything gets done, including things like paying the bills and emptying the garbage.
- Medication to help get me through my days. While I will always be my quirky, absent-minded, daydream believer self, it helps tremendously.
Speakers Bureau Member Nefertiti Khemet
I am grateful for mental health awareness, family support with my mental health and for open conversation on the topic.
Speakers Bureau Member Veronica Martinez
I am grateful for:
- The wellness and recovery center in South Sacramento and the peer mentors that helped pull me out of the dark moments this year.
- My kids and cats, who always show unconditional love.