End The Stigma Together ~ Mental Health Awareness Month
Hey beautiful! Today I want to share something very close to my heart. May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and as many of you know, I’m a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and support. All month long, I’m sharing chats, videos, and information about mental health on my Instagram @karenadawn. I hope you’ll join me there!
I am so passionate about mental health awareness because I grew up with a mother who had a mental health condition. When you have a parent who is dealing with a mental health condition, you go through a lot of childhood trauma and as a result, I fell into a deep sadness, anxiety, and struggled through my teen years and early 20s. Through fitness, meditation, and community, I began to heal and find myself again. (You can read more about my personal journey here.)
I used to feel ashamed of my past, but now I’ve come to own my story. The more I share myself with the TIU community, the more love, support, and strength I feel. And I have heard from so many of you that you have also been affected by a mental health condition — whether personally or through a loved one. None of us are alone. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans are affected by a mental health condition. My goal is to help end the stigma around mental illness. When I was growing up, no one talked about mental health and there were very few resources to turn to. That is changing, and I want to be part of that change.
Many of you know I’ve been involved with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. When Bobby and I first got married, we did their 12-week Family-to-Family course for families who have a loved one with a mental health condition. Now I work with their End the Silence program, where I go to local high schools and speak to students about how to recognize and cope with mental health conditions and talk about suicide prevention.
Last month, I was honored to celebrate my birthday with NAMI alongside board member and mental health advocate Dorit. We celebrated life with yoga, meditation, and so many beautiful connections. Seeing women come together and really open up to each other made my birthday wishes come true!
Today I’m so excited to share a video and pics from the event. Scroll down to see more of the beautiful celebration!
And for any of you who may be struggling or going through something, I want you to know you’re never alone. It’s OK to not be OK, to not be perfect. Let’s keep this conversation going and talk openly with each other.
If you ever need a resource, I encourage you to check out NAMI, Livin, and To Write Love On Her Arms. And if you want to get involved with NAMI, DM me to get more info. And remember you can always find meditations, which have been life-changing for me in my journey, in the On Demand section of your Tone It Up app.
I’m always here to talk and listen. What do you want to talk about next? Let me know in the comments!
Sending you so much love,
Pics From My Birthday Celebration!