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Can’t Fix It If We Can’t Face It: Morning Minutes, May 27, 2016

In school, as in life, we come across tough topics. And while sometimes it would be easier to avoid and ignore such topics, our doing so doesn’t make the problem better; in truth, it often makes it worse. Consequently, we have confronted a number of tough topics in 219 this year, and the kids have done so with both maturity and grace, even when the confrontations have been uncomfortable. Of course, prior to our tackling tougher topics, I always preface them by telling kids that avoiding tough topics doesn’t make them go away, and it certainly never makes them better. We have to face, discuss, and strive to mend the gaps in our society. Of course, that is always easier said than done, but we can’t shy from the divides among us . And, as we know, it is not up to the adults alone to fix that which needs mending; we have to empower the next generation to do what we could not.

That said, the following is not easy to confront. In fact the video is really hard to watch; it’s uncomfortable. But it’s important. Two days ago, Nicole led us to the edge of an issue in our society that we struggle to talk about, which sadly prevents our making any real progress, but that has to change. As I mentioned in the post about kids’ independent learning projects on Wednesday, the coolest part of the experience is that I get to learn from the kids. On Wednesday, we learned that May is Mental Illness Awareness Month. Sadly, most of us had no idea, and that is indicative of where we are on this societally. Nicole’s goal with her project was to increase awareness around this difficult topic. Below you will find a post from her “mock blog,” Understanding Brain Illnesses, along with her stop-motion video that she created as her product.

Admittedly, ashamedly, I was reluctant to share the video because I knew it would be hard to watch, but then I figured if I am going to talk the talk, I better walk the walk. I am so proud of Nicole for not only presenting such an incredible project but also for allowing me to share it with you.

Welcome to Understanding Brain Illnesses a site where you can feel safe. Our mission is to help people struggling to understand their brains and help with the awareness of mental disorders.

 Mental illness


May 22, 2016

As a person who has struggled with dealing with their own mental illness along with their family’s, I know how hard it is. You can feel so alone. Sometimes reaching out for help can feel impossible because they simply just don’t understand. My goal is to inform people about mental illness and how it affects lives all over the world. I’ve lost family members and close friends to mental illness and I don’t want the lack of knowledge to be a reason. Even though mental illness can be hidden, there are still signs that can be visible, so look out for abnormal behavior either in sleep, appetite, or mood. For a long time, I felt guilt about the loss of a family member because I had no idea that they were hurting for so long. I tried to gather as much information as I could about mental illness so I could help with others struggling. I can tell you now, if you are dealing with the loss of someone close because of mental illness, it does get easier after a while. It just takes time to heal. Talking to someone like a therapist or even a family member can be a good reliever. Same with people struggling with mental illness. Talk to someone, it isn’t going to magically get better. It takes on average ten years for a person to get help. Break that average and get help early. Help each other.

Purpose: Express and Reflect on Mental illness and how to help with others struggling.

Have a great weekend, all. Thank you for all the support this week.


2 Replies to “Can’t Fix It If We Can’t Face It: Morning Minutes, May 27, 2016”

  • Thanks for saying what needed to be said Nicole. As someone who struggles daily with anxiety that inhibits my ability to function, I know what it’s like to deal with mental illness. So thank you for addressing the elephant in the room. Maybe now, people will be more understanding and accepting of the fact that mental illness is just as real as a physical disability or infirmity. You had the courage to do what I couldn’t. To speak up and call out the hidden menace in our society. So good for you.

  • Thanks Nicole. Your presentation was very sobering and well presented. I know that I will try to be more aware and understanding , especially now. Hard topic, but you opened my eyes, Thanks.

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