March is women’s history month. There are multiple examples of how women have taken the lead to positively impact our understanding and treatment of mental health. One such hero is Nely Bly. Nely was an investigative journalist. In 1887 she went undercover at a New York psychiatric hospital. After 10 days as an inpatient, Bly wrote about her experiences in an exposé for New York World. Her report got the attention of the state legislature and triggered new funding and reforms in the treatment of people with mental health conditions. Her report was later published in the book “Ten Days In A Mad-House”, which I highly recommend.
Some of the things that cause us stress relate to questions that do not have answers. Things like “why do bad things happen to us?” In these kinds of situations our coping skills need to focus on giving-expression to our experience and emotions. One of the best ways to do that is to explore your creative side. There are many ways to express yourself. Journaling, writing poetry or songs, drawing, painting, sculpting, playing music or building something. Find your way of creatively expressing what you are experiencing, thinking or feeling. It can provide the outlet you need to process your emotions during a difficult time.
The life of St. Patrick was full of trauma including being kidnapped and enslaved at age 16. He faced his difficulties using a forward-facing approach, a deep seated belief his life had meaning, and serving others. Here is a portion of one of St. Patrick's recorded prayers to help give you encouragement. “I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me; God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me afar, a near, alone or in a multitude.” ― St Patrick