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May is Mental Health Month in the USA so we thought we would use the last post of the month to highlight mental health issues. To do so, we have reviewed one excellent new book by a therapist about her own therapy journey and her work with some of her more memorable patients. We also shared instagram and website links to another woman's ongoing mental health journey. To finish, we highlighted some direct links to mental health services. At this point, we think it goes without saying that as book bloggers, we would also argue that reading is great medicine for our collective mental health. So, let's all take a collective break from the news and read a book or two this week.
We hope in some small way this post helps us all take better care of ourselves, and show a bit more understanding for the struggles of others.
And as today is Memorial Day, we also remember the veterans we honor today (and their families).
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (2019) -- I loved every page of this expansive memoir of the author's life as a therapist and as someone in therapy. Ms. Gottlieb's honesty about her own mental health needs -- begun by a strong need for help recovering from the unexpected ending of her engagement, but definitely not ending there - intertwined with tales of her clients really allows you to look at your own mental health and what can be done to help (even if you are fine, or think you are fine). ~ Lisa Christie and strongly seconded by Lisa Cadow who adds: As someone headed back to school in the fall to pursue a masters in counseling, I found this book to be a jump start into better understanding the therapeutic process. Gottlieb is whipper-snapper smart, funny, and a great story-teller. Lucky for us, she is also an excellent educator and she uses this book as a way to explain techniques, theory, and the history of psychology. Not surprisingly, given her choice of career path, she has fantastic insight into the human condition. You will wish you could find a therapist like her.
For those of us who would like more tales of mental health journeys, or who need help identifying your own mental health needs, or for anyone needing direct avenues to help, we have a few more resources for you.
First, if you are the type who is inspired by watching others' lives, our friend and neighbor Kate Speer has been so brave and honest about her own mental health journey. In doing so, she (and her dog Waffle) is helping and inspiring so, so, so many along the way. You can find her TED talk story here. You can find her website here. If you are on instrgram, you can find her here and her dog Waffle here. Finally, if you need help branding you can find Kate's day job here.
Secondly, both the MAYO Clinic and the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses have tips for helping to find the right mental health services for you.
Finally, for those of you who think mental health services are out of reach financially, NBC news highlighted some ways to afford the care you need.
May we all find the peace we need.
And now, one final note: Here is a moment of full disclosure in the spirit of our belief that, if - and only if - you are comfortable airing your own issues, discussing mental health with candor and compassion can help others. We are hoping that frank discussions about our own mental health take away some stigmas. (And that some of the stories and resources we highlight here today help as well.)
So, to continue, a change awhile back in my family situation (this is Lisa Christie typing) led me to a mental health crisis of my own; one which I am still struggling through with help from a very compassionate and learned therapist, and for awhile with help from a couples therapist. In posting today, I want to make it clear we at the Book Jam are not offering quick resolution or claiming to be experts. I for one, am clearly not a case where a mental health crisis meant immediate "cures"; honestly, it has actually created (or perhaps better said - unearthed) more than a few additional issues. However, I would argue that crisis and the therapy it led me to has meant many things I needed to address for my own good are finally being upended (even if not always with grace, poise, immediate gratitude, or honestly easy solutions). Thus, even if it is not always pleasant (it's often downright painful for me and others - sorry family), I firmly believe my improved mental health ultimately benefits many (please). I also believe if one's mental health improves, one's body and the rest of one's life benefit as well. So, may all our journeys lead to great places, even if the path itself is difficult. And with that, we end today's post.