Reflecting on all that’s come about this year and can’t help, but be grateful for the blessings, lessons and life changes that’s happened.

There were paths I crossed that left bittersweet memories and there were others that taught me some hard lessons, yet I’m grateful for all the experiences, because there were paths in all the craziness, I call life that warmed my heart and still do when I think about them.

I have met people that I enjoy interacting with and sharing common likes, like gardening, plants, food and funnies…Life is good. I let the things that keep me awake at night flow down the river, because I don’t know my tomorrow. There’s no room in my life to worry about things I have no control over.

It saddens me to hear or read about young people and people in general who leave this world because there was no outlet for them to channel their pain and confusion. Learning to love self is a lesson that needs to be practiced daily for mental health.

Our mental health is our central point in relations to our feelings, thoughts and actions. It controls our well-being, but it can be taught to change by practicing behaviors that one needs to survive in life.

According to The World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a “state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.

Issues with mental health are interconnected with non-communicable diseases. Mental health does not just affect an individual, it affects society and the development of a nation.

According to one Health Department Resource I read, “Unaddressed mental health problems can have a negative influence on homelessness, poverty, employment, safety, and the local economy. They may

impact the productivity of local businesses and health care costs, impede the ability of children and youth

to succeed in school, and lead to family and community disruption.”

Stigmatization and discrimination have an adverse effect on someone with mental health issues and deters them from seeking help for their disorders. It’s a cycle that needs to be addressed and society needs to learn and understand that no one is immune from mental disorders.

Improvement in a person’s quality of life makes a person a productive member of society, thus the importance in community attentiveness and inclusion with members of society.

I heard someone say “no man is an island” so, I researched it and here’s a summary of what I found: No Man Is an Island by John Donne.

“No human being is separate and isolated from the rest of humanity, like an island entirely on its own. Instead, every person is part of the big metaphorical landmass that is humanity itself, one small piece of a larger whole. If a tiny lump of earth were to disappear into the ocean, then an island would get smaller— just as it would get smaller if a big chunk of the coast broke off, or if your friend’s house or your house were to wash away. Likewise, the death of any person affects me, because I am part of humanity. So, if you hear the death-knell ringing, never ask who it’s ringing for: it’s ringing for you.”

This sheds light to the fact that mental health, the nation and the people are very much interrelated.

Hoping that the New Year brings about the realization that everyone matters, for the whole nation to


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