STOP THE BLEEDING

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Archive for Help (hotlines/resources)

A higher power for healing?

Today’s blog post will be very quick because most of it, I will leave up to my readers. About a month ago, my handy-dandy Google reader produced an article from the website PsychCentral called Why is Religion important to Mental Health. Now obviously as a journalist, a month is not exactly timely. However, religion is a sensitive subject and I debated it in my mind on whether or not to discuss it here. Over the past week though, it is something I have been itching to ask the readers of this blog.

In the article, author Therese J. Borchard begins by discussing the context of religion and mental health historically. The two rarely coincide peacefully. Borchard uses excerpts from a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) newsletter. The newsletter consisted of an interview with Jay Mahler, an activist and founder of The California Mental Health & Spirituality Initiative and a reverend, Laura Mancuso. In the excerpts used from the professionals, they both seem to agree that mental health and religion have some sort of link in patients.

“For many people with mental health issues, spirituality is key to understanding this experience. It is essential in their journey of recovery. Also faith communities have provided a sense of belonging and welcome to me, and to others who have been marginalized and experienced stigma and discrimination resulting from the public’s fear of persons with psychiatric diagnoses,” Mahler said.

The comments on the article span more than half of the page with readers of all different backgrounds and religions (or lack thereof) weigh in on their personal feelings. Some fear that introducing religion into psychiatric treatment is a great idea because that very thing helped them find solace while others believe that it is a violation of church and state, possibly only including mainstream religions but focused on Christianity.
Now here is where I pose the question: Is religion an important aspect in mental health? Does religion coincide with mental health at all? Is the use and discussion of religion aide the healing of the mentally ill? What are your views? Let me know, lets spark a discussion! (But please be tasteful)

“Every shadow is evidence of sun.” – Nichole Nordeman

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IMAlive: online 24hr crisis center

So I’m really sad that IMAlive is something that I am just learning about and I’m sure that many you, my wonderful readers may not have heard of it either. IMAlive is still in the works but when it launches, it will be the first live online crisis network. IMAlive will be a 24 hour, 7 day a week internet help line. When launched, anyone can log on and chat live with a certified volunteer, through instant messaging.

“The terror of picking up the phone to call a hotline not knowing who will answer you prevents you from doing so,” the site reads. “Or, even if you have the courage to pick up the phone, the sound of the person’s voice scares you and you hang up. We know this happens because over 30% of all people who call our hotlines do just that—they hang up as soon as they hear the human voice.

More importantly, we recognize the technological age we find ourselves in today and we know that millions of people in crisis will never pick up the phone. We believe that IMAlive is part of the solution to the problem.”

IMAlive is a revolutionary idea as it brings the help right into your living room. Through partnership with To Write Love on Her Arms, PostSecret, and the Question, Persuade, and Refer Institute, which provides training and certification of volunteers, The Kristin Brooks Hope Center plans to launch IMAlive.

Originally set to launch in 2010, IMAlive is innovative in the way it plans to offer these services. Instead of hired hands to work the online help network, IMAlive is seeking volunteers from all over the U.S. and Canada. IMAlive allows real people, who are passionate about helping others become a part of the solution.

The criteria for volunteering includes:

• A genuine desire and willingness to help people in need
• At least 18 years old (*16 with parents notarized consent)
• Must have reliable Internet access
• Must complete at least 50 hours training and a series of tests and screenings.
• Must be willing to commit to responding four hours a week for one year. Or can commit to responding eight hours a week for six months.

There is, however a $250 cost combined with becoming a volunteer. The fee goes to training necessary to properly deal with people in crisis situations. So far, there are only 60 (!) trained and certified volunteers so if this is something you feel you want to do and are able to handle, SIGN UP PLEASE. I know I will be very soon.

IMAlive allows its volunteers to set up a personal page in which they can solicit donations for their fee, so if the fee scares you from signing up, don’t let it. It’s possible to fundraise the entire thing.

I personally cannot wait until this online community is launched. IMAlive has the potential to change and SAVE so many lives. It allows survivors to help others and those in need to find a solace where people truly understand their struggle. If this is something you are passionate about, if you have the resources, please donate to the cause. It’s already behind on its launch date, LET’S HELP IT GET OFF THE GROUND! This is something that people need and the sooner, the better.

Along with its own merchandise, To Write Love on Her Arms is selling IMAlive shirts which the proceeds will go to the launch of IMAlive.                                                    

The back is the lyrics to “Go” by Boys Like Girls :]

If you’re a twitter fiend, follow the movement: @_IMAlive

As promised, my quote of the day is:
“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

Late V-Day :{

Firstly I want to start this post off with an apology.

I haven’t been posting like I wanted and I’m not giving this blog the attention I hoped to. I started this for a class and but I have hopes for this blog to be so much more. I’ve given up any prospects of winning my teacher’s ‘best post of the week’ because the subject that I chose to write on is for a very specific audience and not something everyone enjoys. I’m okay with that though. I write for my readers, the few of them that I have right now. I write for those who feel alone.  I write for those with a story to share. I write for those like me. I will post more and I hope you keep reading.

Even though I’m totally late and Valentine’s Day was two days ago, I know that that particular holiday can be especially painful for some. When some many of us have felt an empty space inside, devoid of any affection, a holiday all about lovers and love can be difficult to bear. The effects of Valentine’s Day sometimes linger way past Feb. 14.

On the blog of To Write Love on Her Arms, a national organization aimed at suicide prevention and awareness, a letter or “a vulnerable note written to today’s strange pink holiday” was posted and written on Valentine’s Day by TWLOHA’s founder Jamie Tworkowski. The letter was a heartfelt goodbye to all of the pain and loneliness associated with being alone on Valentine’s Day.

“To make a long story short, I think I’ve given you way too much power.  I let you scare me and I let you name me and I let you tell me what I’m worth.

I don’t want to do that anymore.”

In truth the post made me cry because it spoke the words I haven’t been able to formulate myself. It was like reading a page from my own heart.  I hope that it touches you like it touched me and I also hope that you will explore TWLOHA and what its site has to offer. Tworkowski is a powerful man. He came to Central Michigan last spring I got to hear him speak. Some of my friends got up and left because they found it boring but his story was so honest and his passion for his cause is so organic, it made a left an imprint on me. I’ve been attached to TWLOHA ever since.

If you ever feel ready to end it all and get sick of the pain, please make this call:

National suicide help lines

*1-800-SUICIDE

*1-800-237-TALK

You don’t have to suffer alone.

I also found a website that will allow you to look up any crisis centers in any state, just in case you feel more comfortable talking to someone closer to home.

Finally, I’ve decided that I will end each post with a quote, something that moves me or something I find worthy of sharing. This quote comes straight from TWOLHA’s twitter feed and it reads:

“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals…” -Unknown