Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month…

I was not able to take advantage of this year’s Mental Health Awareness month, by sharing information or thoughts about this topic, due to an intense immersion in my studies, while trying to reach a milestone. But as I was working, it was particularly a difficult time for my state of mental health, as I really struggled with my anxiety and depression while completing an important goal in my studies. But I was able to power through and I am grateful to note that I will be moving forward in my research, praise be to God, and will continue to be strong in the challenging road ahead….

Ultimately, I hope to be in a better position with this degree so that I can be a strong voice for the important causes I care about…one being, obviously Mental Health Awareness.

Nevertheless, I do want to make sure I put in a word or two in my blog before the month disappears on us. This may be brief for now, but of course, as part of the blog’s theme, I will continue to keep writing on this topic…

I have learned that May has been the month of mental health awareness since 1949. I am very impressed. I wonder how it was like and what types of ways advocates would talk about mental health back in the 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s, when things were far more challenging than now.

It is mostly important that we all begin to recognize why and how EVERYONE should care about mental health awareness, mental illnesses, and mental health care, in general. The conversation is certainly changing but it still remains a delicate issue around the world. Most importantly, we should not be afraid to have a dialogue, an open dialogue in our communities to embrace this perspective. And even more important, we must listen to the voices out there speaking out, telling us stories, and contributing to the important conversation. We must not silence them, and we must not ignore them.

Further, to put this in the context of my experience at the moment, as Ramadan is beginning while the month of May ends, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the concomitant effects of mental health and well-being and the benefits that come from fasting during Ramadan for the 1.7 billion Muslims in the world.

Although it is quite transparent and straightforward how this month is meant to improve many aspects of a Muslim’s life through reflection, self-discipline, resistance from temptations and addictions, in addition to bringing one closer to God, the conversation on mental health still remains relatively absent in Muslim Communities, while still needing a lot of work universally.

I do hope this month of May was fruitful for those involved in the important cause of mental health awareness.

May we continue to educate ourselves on the invisible realities and struggles that impact millions and use it as an opportunity to change our hearts and minds, with the ultimate goal to enhance our compassion for all.

Happy Mental Health Health Awareness Month. #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

And Ramadan Kareem, Ramadan Mubarak, Happy Ramadan, to all who observe!

with warm salaams and best wishes,

Your Warrior Queen, Elsa

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